Animal Writes
From 10 November 2002 Issue

Election Results
From The Fund for Animals - [email protected]

The results of the 2002 animal protection ballot initiatives are in!  Overall, the people spoke out in a huge way for animals, with victories in five of six statewide ballot measures, and six of six county measures.

ARIZONA: Proposition 201 -- VICTORY -- 20% to 80%. Voters rejected Proposition 201, which would have expanded gambling at greyhound racing tracks and provided a new revenue stream for the greyhound racing industry, which mistreats and kills thousands of dogs a year.  Surplus dogs and dogs who do not meet racing standards are often shot or bludgeoned to death. The failure of Proposition 201 helps to minimize the profit that can be made from the exploitation of greyhounds.

ARKANSAS: Initiated Act 1 -- DEFEAT -- 37% to 63%. The failure of Initiated Act 1, to make extreme acts of animal cruelty a class D felony, is the result of widespread misinformation from animal abuse industries. Initiated Act 1 would also have toughened laws against cockfighting, creating penalties equivalent to those for dogfighting, in addition to making egregious acts of animal abuse a felony. Yet opponents of the act, led by the Arkansas Farm Bureau, wrongly portrayed the act as an extremist measure that would have outlawed animal research and other animal use industries.

FLORIDA: Amendment 10 -- VICTORY -- 55% to 45%. The first measure ever to be adopted in the United States to ban the confinement of animals on factory farms, Amendment 10 bans the caging of pigs in gestation crates -- tiny, two foot by seven foot cages in which pregnant pigs are housed for almost all of their dismal existence. The crates are so small that confined pigs can't even turn around. Years of this tortured life leads to a spate of physical and psychological ailments.  With the passage of Amendment 10, these intelligent animals will be spared the agony of gestation crates, and giant hog farms may be discouraged from taking up residence in Florida.

GEORGIA: Amendment 6 -- VICTORY -- 71% to 29%. The approval of Amendment 6, to create a special spay/neuter license plate, will bring sorely-needed funds to spay/neuter programs. Money from the sales of the special "animal-friendly" license plates will subsidize low-cost companion animal sterilization programs in the state, preventing the birth and ultimate euthanasia of tens of thousands of unwanted cats and dogs. Georgia joins nineteen other states that already have a special animal-friendly license plate and, like them, Georgia will help raise millions of dollars to combat the problem of companion animal overpopulation and the suffering it causes.

OKLAHOMA: State Question 687 -- VICTORY -- 56% to 44%. SQ 687 passed easily, making Oklahoma the 48th state to ban the cruel practice of cockfighting. Only Louisiana and a few counties in New Mexico remain!  Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, in endorsing SQ 687, has stated, "Cockfighting is cruel; it promotes illegal gambling and it is simply embarrassing to Oklahoma to be seen as one of only a tiny handful of locations outside of the Third World where this activity is legal."  With this important victory, the people of Oklahoma can proudly say they do not allow the brutal sport of cockfighting in their state, and they have established stiff felony penalties for cockfighting violations.

OKLAHOMA: State Question 698 -- VICTORY -- 46% to 54%. The defeat of SQ 687, an anti-animal measure, is an important victory for the animals. Denounced by the Daily Oklahoman as "shameful" and "dishonest," this measure would have amended the Oklahoma Constitution to require nearly twice the number of signatures to qualify an animal protection measure for the ballot. With the rejection of SQ 698, Oklahomans who care about animals now retain the same access to the legislative process that is enjoyed by the farm bureau and other groups who profit from the exploitation of animals.

WEST VIRGINIA: Sunday Hunting -- VICTORY -- Sunday hunting was on the ballot in Cabell, Hardy, Kanawha, Putnam, Webster, and Wirt counties, and was soundly defeated in all six counties. During the May primaries, all 35 of the counties voting rejected Sunday hunting.  Sunday is the one day a week during hunting season when hikers, campers, and other non-consumptive wildlife recreationists can use the outdoors without fear of being shot, and Sunday hunting is opposed by a diverse coalition of farmers, wildlife advocates, and citizens.

Go on to National Gentle Thanksgiving
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