Animal Rights Activists Try To Bully Lawmakers - And Response

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Roy Exum crosses the line in trashing members of Congress simply because they disagree with him on animal welfare policy. The Farm Bill amendment proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) merely seeks to stop states from interfering with interstate commerce, as they are already prohibited from doing. [“Roy Exum: Animal Thugs Turn To Congress,” May 14] 

Animal liberation groups like the Humane Society of the United States, which are against animal agriculture, have duped voters in a handful of states into passing state ballot measures that hurt farmers by driving up production costs.

King’s proposal would merely prohibit trying to force these production regulations on farms in other states, as California has attempted. It’s one thing for a state to pass a bad law after being drowned in animal right propaganda; it’s another for a state to try to force those regulations on other states.

While there should be room for honest disagreement on animal welfare policy, lawmakers have been bullied and threatened by animal rights activists this year who are interested in silencing debate. Exum is reckless in his attempts to demonize those who disagree with him.  

Will Coggin
Senior Research Analyst, Center for Consumer Freedom
Washington, D.C.

* * *

Anytime someone from Washington, D.C., writes into our local opinion columns, you can be sure it's with an agenda. The "Center for Consumer Freedom" is anything but what its name implies. It's a noted anti-animal welfare group, darkly sponsored by big-Ag. It's roots come from the days of tobacco, where it sowed similar disinformation on the benefits of smoking.

That being illuminated, let me address Mr. Coggins' arguments. What could be more in the interest of Consumer Freedom than to have proper and accurate knowledge of how our food is raised? Shouldn't consumers have the right to know that their food is produced without torture and harming of livestock? Shouldn't illegal, immoral and unsafe agricultural practices be exposed? Commerce is a two-way street. It's a relationship between the sellers and the buyers. I think that the buyers should have as much right to protection as the sellers. We've seen downed cows pushed into the food supply, dangerous chemicals used with abandon and unclean and unsafe poultry operations run rampant. I'd like to see those exposed and brought to daylight, and the perpetrators brought to justice.

And right here in Tennessee we've seen horses routinely tortured for the simple purpose of our entertainment. A sordid practice that's been ignored because of "tradition" I can think of few things more despicable. Our unscrupulous state legislators attempted to sneak a cleverly worded yet constitutionally suspect bill through to shield abusers from the light of justice. Their constituents should be ashamed. Fortunately, Governor Haslam saw fit to veto this shameful piece of legislation.

Animal rights groups like the Humane Society have no interest in producers who treat their livestock ethically and humanely. And ethical farmers should have no fears from animal rights groups, just as law-abiders have no fear from police. I appreciate the dedication and effort these "activists" have shown in exposing the abuse of horses and other livestock in Tennessee. I think its time the lawmakers got "Bullied" into protecting animals from getting "Tortured."

Bobby Stone


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