Several of Nebraska’s major agricultural organizations have joined together to combat animal rights activism. With many Nebraska farmers faring that the animal rights activists will persuade voters and state legislators to toughen regulations on farms and ranches across the state, these agricultural groups are hoping to preempt potential activism.
Over the last several months, animal rights activism has been a hot-button issue on American farms. In the wake of several controversial undercover farm videos, two states, Iowa and Florida, have considered legislation that would outlaw videotaping farm activities without the consent of the farm owner.
Several other states have seen their regulations toughened as a result of petitions by animal rights groups like the Humane Society of the U.S. Petition drives in Arizona and California both resulted in restrictions on tight confinement spaces on animal farms. In Ohio, the threat of a petition drive drove the state government to voluntarily impose restrictions.
The newly formed Nebraska group, We Support Agriculture, has already received $5,000 contributions from the Nebraska Cattlemen, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, and the Nebraska Poultry Industries. The money will go to opposing a feared campaign by animal activists to outlaw certain confinement practices.
While the CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S. says that his organization is not planning a petition drive and wants to work with farmers to develop human standards that are acceptable to farmers, WSA and several state officials, including Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, are skeptical.
In a speech to the Nebraska Cattlemen, Heineman stated, “They’d be better off going somewhere else, because they’re going to lose if they stay in Nebraska.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer