The deadline has passed and the signatures are in. That means this November,
Last month, animal-welfare groups submitted more than 218,000 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State to put the measure on this fall’s ballot. The secretary has to confirm that enough signatures are from registered voters in the state, a legitimate issue especially since a finance report shows the activists paid about $42,000 to a
While the issue isn’t over, it is a bit sobering. CAFR was smart and diligent in its efforts to head off a successful petition drive. Members planned thoroughly and well in advance. They received decent, but not over-abundant, funding for the project. They performed admirably and still couldn’t keep the issue off the ballot. That’s not criticism, that’s a chilling reality.
Certainly there is still time to educate voters and come out with a commonsense result, but election-based battles rarely get easier the closer they get to voting day.
It’s easy to point to the fact that the ballot initiative was orchestrated by two out-of-state activist groups — Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the
But all that matters little today. What does matter is what voters think — and decide.
A similar tactic paid off in 2002 in
Shortly after the
In general, animal activists are focusing more tactics on legislative activities and ballot initiatives. They’ve had a bit more luck with state voters than with state legislatures. But the legislative arena and the legal system, is where precedence carries weight. With each state that bans sow-gestation crates, the activists’ next effort gets easier.
So, agriculture’s call to arms remains, but with a bit more urgency. It’s important that U.S. agriculture—and that means farmers, ranchers, packers, allied industry, lenders and more— support CAFR, and other such efforts. Each day it becomes more critical that the entire
The challenge in
The signatures may be in for this issue, but agriculture can’t let up.