This year we witnessed another all out war on animals in Jefferson City with an onslaught of over 30 destructive bills that attempted to repeal or seriously weaken our state laws protecting animals from abuse and neglect.
Thankfully, the animals escaped unscathed from this overwhelmingly hostile legislative session. What was particularly alarming was the fact that many of these harmful bills passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives and came very close to passing into law. It is, therefore, with a huge sigh of relief that we can proclaim Victory for the Animals!!!
Appallingly, many state legislators were relentless in their efforts to dismantle Missouri’s laws protecting the welfare of animals during this year’s session. Unfortunately, several legislators are still bitter over the passage of the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act which has closed down 1,200 cruel puppy mills in the state. One legislator publicly criticized his colleagues on the Floor of the House arguing that their actions were being done for spite due to the success of the new puppy mill law.
Equally disturbing was the blitz of bills aimed at opening up more cruel factory farms in Missouri. All of the states continguous to Missouri prohibit regulatory control of factory farms by local municipalities. Corporate agriculture was determined to add Missouri to their list of states with no local regulations to protect the public health, the environment, and the welfare of the animals confined in factory farms. Thankfully, the Alliance prevailed in maintaining Missouri as an oasis of “local control” allowing counties to continue to regulate factory farms, thus keeping many factory farms out of the state. Corporate agriculture also attempted to weaken the authority of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the authority of the state’s Clean Water Commission in regulating factory farms – these efforts were also defeated.
Fortunately, with your support, we were able to persevere. We refused to be intimidated by this onslaught of adverse legislation and we remained relentless in our commitment to protect the animals. We were able to defeat all of these bills – many going down to defeat in the last few days of the session.
Every one of your letters, emails, and phone calls to your state senator and representative paid off.
All who reached out to your legislators can feel very proud because you truly made a difference for every animal in the state.
Without your help, several of these harmful bills would have most certainly passed into law and the animals would have paid an horrendous price.
Here is a list of some of the legislation that you helped to successfully defeat that would have significantly endangered the welfare of animals in Missouri.
Eliminates Disposition Hearings for Abused & Neglected Animals DEFEATED
(HB 1969 & Language as contained in SB 804)
This legislation, if passed, would have severely weakened the state’s anti-cruelty statutes and would have effectively eliminated the disposition process for animals that have been abused and/or neglected. Currently, state prosecutors can seek a disposition hearing for animals that have been cruelly treated and subsequently seized by law enforcement officials. At this hearing a judge can order such animals to be surrendered to a humane society and allow these animals to be placed into loving homes. If these bills had passed, abused and/or neglected animals would have been forced to remain in the hands of their abusers, often for many months, until the perpetrators could be tried in a criminal court of a law. Shockingly, this legislation passed the House of Representatives but was fortunately stopped in the Senate.
Exempts Animals from Sunshine Law DEFEATED
(SB 928 & Language as originally contained in HB 1414 & SB 703)
These bills were intended to keep the public in the dark on how animals are treated. This legislation would have eliminated the ability to monitor animal welfare issues via the state’s “Sunshine Law.” Among other things, it would have prevented access to state inspection reports of commercial dog breeders. Supporters of the legislation blamed Missouri’s “Sunshine Law” for the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act which closed down many inhumane puppy mills. They argued that public disclosure of the conditions at Missouri’s puppy mills led to the intense pressure to enact stricter laws. This legislation would have also prohibited the disclosure of unhealthy and cruel conditions at factory farms. A sponsor of this legislation was quoted in the media as saying that in reference to public information on animals in agriculture, “it’s better kept quiet.”
Weakens Regulations on Factory Farms DEFEATED
(HB 1823 & Language as contained in HB 1632, HB 1912, HB 2188, HB 2376, SB 676, SB 765, SB 781, SB 799, SB 800, SB 867, SB 869, SB 937)
All of these bills would have greatly diminished the authority of local officials to regulate factory farms.
Allows Factory Farms to Circumvent Regulations by Department of Natural Resources and Clean Water Commission DEFEATED
(HB 2650 & Language as contained in HB 1588, HB 1713, HB 1827 & HB 2376)
Makes a Person Liable for Speaking Out Against Factory Farms and Grants Immunity to Food Producers for Intentionally Mislabeling Food as Organicly Grown or Raised Without Chemicals or Synthetics DEFEATED
(HB 1830 & Language as contained in HB 2332, SB 663 & SB 804)
Weakens Regulations on Sanitation at Factory Farms DEFEATED
(HB 1729 & SB 769 & Language as contained SB 703)
Prohibits Nuisance Lawsuits Against Factory Farms DEFEATED
Prohibits Municipalities from Banning the Sale of Puppy Mill Puppies in Pet Stores DEFEATED
We thank you again for your support of the Alliance and especially your individual efforts to contact your legislators. All of our efforts have paid off and we can rest assured that our hard fought gains for animal welfare over the past years remain in place. We have prevailed and the animals have won the day!
PLEASE ACT NOW AND CONTINUE YOUR SUPPORT OF THE ANIMALS AND THE ALLIANCE!
This year has been extremely costly to the Alliance as we fought to preserve our animal welfare laws. PLEASE support the Alliance’s work on behalf of animals with your donation of ANY size today!
As the only organization whose sole purpose is to lobby full-time on behalf of animal welfare issues in Jefferson City, we NEED your support!