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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It is only weird if it doesn't work - here we go

Today's blog addresses those who find it weird that so-called animal advocates haven't included all animals in a proposed SD felony animal cruelty law.

We're certainly not trying to alienate those who believe South Dakota should create a law like Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Wyoming and many others to protect all animals. However, we're being realistic because we know the South Dakota Legislature wants to support South Dakota's number one industry, agriculture.

If South Dakota Ag opposition has an issue with laws to protect companion animals just imagine what their reaction would be to a law protecting all animals. While we agree it is weird farmers and ranchers wouldn't be outraged if their livestock was randomly and brutally tortured like rodeo horse Dually in 2009, maybe the value of their animal fits just fine with existing destruction of property laws.

We do know South Dakotans want better animal cruelty laws because the value of our mix breed dogs and cats adopted from the local humane society, or our untrained yearling purchased at auction just aren't covered by existing property laws. We want felony level penalties and consequences for those who commit malicious acts against companion animals... we're talking about the most common victims: dogs, cats and horses and they often don't have a property value of over $1,000.

With all of this in mind, we support the passage of a bill that does not hinder day-to-day operations on South Dakota farms or ranches but protects our pets. A law that is both meaningful to the companion animals we love and palpable to South Dakota Ag opposition. Maybe it is easier just to use the words of Bud Light's popular NFL commercial "it is only weird if it doesn't work - here we go".  Session starts today and we hope this compromise will work - here we go South Dakota.

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