Since when did farm animals stop being recognized as animals? Just the thought of that sentence seems absurd but it’s up for debate in the Arizona legislature this week. And local politics can be VERY confusing. This time it’s the legislators that seem to be bewildered. In the past few weeks both the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona Senate passed HB2150. In my kinder moments, I think they must be confused. In my more critical moments, I think Arizona’s legislators must be out to pasture.
The thing about passing legislation is that a lot of sneaky things go on behind the scenes. Some politicians owe others favors; some cater to their big donors; others feel pressure from organizations like the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association. It’s unfortunate especially when lives are at stake. HB2150 removes farm animals from the legal definition of “animal” in our cruelty laws and places them in a totally separate area of the statutes.
What that means is that cows, pigs, sheep – even horses – would not be eligible for protection if harmed in unlawful ways. Seems strange to think that any form of harm IS lawful but unfortunately cruelty and death are legal in our absurd food production system. Farm animals receive very little protection to begin with. If this bill becomes law, it would be legal for uncaring individuals or unconscionable ranchers/farmers to abandon farm animals and/or deny them medical care. Yes, LEGAL to knowingly be cruel.
Why do we need legislation to protect people who are cruel? That’s the bottom line. As Arizona citizens, we should protect our communities and stand up for the animals that can not speak for themselves.
You may be asking, how on Earth did this pass the Arizona House and then the Senate? I am just as dumbfounded. I can only assume that some behind-the-scenes negotiating happened. Or that perhaps some legislators were confused by HB2015 which tries to cloak the ugly truth and intent of the bill with fluffy language about preventing animal hoarding.
The problem is that now we only have a handful of days to convince Governor Doug Ducey to VETO this ugly bill! We have a chance. During his election he published a statement saying “I do not support exemptions on our anti-cruelty codes for any class of domesticated animals. No animals should be victim of unspeakable cruelty.”
If you believe that farm animals are indeed animals and that even though they may be used for food, they deserve to be treated humanely, please ask Governor Ducey to live up to his campaign promise by doing one (or all!) of these things:
Call Governor Ducey’s Office
You can choose to leave a message or talk to someone (or both!): The number to call is 602-542-4331 you can say something like “Hello. My name is [NAME], and I live in [CITY]. I’m calling to ask Governor Ducey to please veto HB 2150. We need better animal protection laws, not separate weaker ones.”
Comment on Governor Ducey’s Facebook page
Go to any recent story posted by Governor Ducey’s staff and make a comment asking him to veto HB 2150. You’ll see other comments and can follow their lead.
Email Governor Ducey’s office
Use this form (http://azgovernor.gov/governor/form/contact-governor-ducey) to tell Governor Ducey to veto HB 2015 because we need better animal protection laws, not separate weaker ones.
Tweet tagging Governor Ducey (@dougducey) and use the hashtag #AZLeg and #HB2150 like this: “@dougducey please veto #HB2150 and show you care about animals! HB2150 is bad policy and bad for #Arizona! #AZpolitics”
Animals need you, and many more Arizonans to take action on their behalf urgently. Please engage five of your friends and family members and ask them to do the same!
Thank you from the animals that can not thank you themselves!