A ballot initiative to regulate the dog breeding industry has some Missouri livestock producers concerned they may see more regulation, according to KOMU.com.
Groups like the Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Pork Producers say the ballot initiative language is similar to a California proposition that banned confined animals, and it's a backdoor attempt at targeting confined animal feeding operations in Missouri.
In 2008, California voters approved a statewide ban on all caged chickens and other confined animals. Following that, an animal welfare group in Ohio filed a petition to regulate animal agriculture, which would go on the November 2010 ballot.
Other states including Oregon, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Maine and Massachusetts have passed similar regulations. Missouri producers say they fear Missouri is next, and those producers are speaking out.
However, petitioners disagree. "There's absolutely no intent to come back and somehow reach in to animal agriculture," said Barbara Schmitz, director of the Missourians for the Protection of Dogs. "This is a completely separate issue."
Sharon Oetting is a Missouri producer who fears that isn't the case. "We truly believe that they're trying to get a foot in the door, trying to get some name recognition and trying to do that by talking about people's pets," said Oetting.
Oetting and her husband run a pork production operation just outside of Concordia, Mo. and Oetting said she takes great pride in taking care of her animals.
"I'm providing a good source of protein for consumers," said Oetting. "And If I can continue to do that, I will do my best to make sure these animals are well cared for."
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