IP-13 would make it a crime to fish and hunt, but it would also remove a lot of the exemptions the Ag community currently enjoys. Mary Anne Cooper, Oregon Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Policy, says the proposal would have negative impacts on anyone who deals with animals, from producers to veterinarians to dog groomers and all points in between
She acknowledges passage of IP-13, is a long-shot, even in the Portland metro area. However, if the initiative is approved by voters, Cooper says she’s worried it will lead to prosecution of animal agriculture in the state.
“Because not only do you lose your exemption for all of your good animal husbandry practices, anything where you’re doctoring or taking care of your own animal, so you could potentially be liable basically if you’ve ever had anything that ever caused injury to them, and then they also have another new crime around animal breeding. And so, anybody, which I don’t know many farmers that get by without having a breeding program, all of that could be kind of a separate new criminal charge.”
Cooper says not only would slaughtering become illegal, but everything that led up to that harvest could potentially be criminalized. Fueling the initiative is the idea that farmers can abuse animals without consequence in Oregon, which she says is completely false.
“And when you look at the prosecutions of that happen for animal abuse, a lot of times in Oregon, it’s folks that are not farmers and ranchers , but they kind of have issues around animal hording and animal management and they got in a bought a bunch of animals not knowing how to properly care for them.”
Cooper adds the farming community can help fight IP-13 by sharing their story and tell the non-Ag community what’s truly taking place on the farm or ranch; and don’t sign any petitions for IP-13. Supporters of the initiative need to collect 112,000 valid signatures by July to get the issue on the November 2022 ballot.