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Your Opinion: Farmers group responds

Dear Editor:

The News Tribune printed a letter Thursday from HSUS State Director Amanda Good claiming Missouri Farmers Care is standing in the way of humane treatment of animals in North Dakota by contributing to the North Dakota Animal Stewards (NDAS). NDAS is a coalition of local shelters, veterinarians, farmers and ranchers in North Dakota that is standing up to the HSUS money machine. They are simply stating North Dakotans should write their own animal-welfare laws and not accept HSUS’s Ballot Measure 5.

These same agricultural and animal-welfare groups in North Dakota are pushing comprehensive animal welfare reform in their state’s legislature. Their reforms are based on the input of many stakeholders, not the preferences of HSUS, a Washington D.C.-based animal-rights group that is not affiliated with local hands-on shelters.

Our supporters wanted to help fellow farmers in North Dakota with a modest contribution of $6,000. HSUS and their lobbying arm, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) have spent an astounding $676,381 in North Dakota on their misleading ballot measure. In Missouri in 2011 and 2012, they spent $336,075 pushing a failed initiative they termed “Your Vote Counts.”

HSUS deceives their donors by running emotional ads featuring suffering dogs and cats but they spend less than 1 percent of their annual $148.7 million budget on hands-on shelter work. Instead, they attack farmer groups like Missouri Farmers Care and push misleading ballot initiatives across the country.

Missouri Farmers Care worked with local shelter groups, the state legislature and Gov. Nixon to amend Missouri’s Proposition B in 2011 and ensures the measure targeted bad actors instead of simply putting pet breeders out of business. Our legislative solution worked because it was from the people of Missouri.

What is truly unfortunate is how HSUS raises money off the backs of shelter dogs and cats in need and uses it to influence the political process. We will continue to support farmers and ranchers that stand up to HSUS and tell the truth about their deception.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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