Voters decide animal welfare questions


Three ballot issues in California, Massachusetts and Oklahoma could influence the veterinary profession.

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National Report

-Voters cast ballots on several animal welfare-related issues today. Here is a rundown of the state issues that could potentially impact veterinarians.

Proposition 2 in California would require changes to the way food-animals are housed in the state. The Humane Society of the United States spearheaded a campaign for the measure, and it maintains backing from animal-rights advocates. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes the proposition saying, "The AVMA believes Proposition 2, 'Standards for Confining Farm Animals,' is admirable in its goal to improve the welfare of production farm animals; however, it ignores critical aspects of animal welfare that ultimately would threaten the well-being of the very animals it strives to protect." Opponents also argue that animal housing can be addressed more efficiently by agricultural industries, not legislation.

Preliminary Results: Yes = 63.3%, No = 36.7% (91% of precincts reporting)

Massachusetts voters will decide the fate of commercial dog racing. The Greyhound Protection Act was heavily supported by the Committee to Protect Dogs, arguing that more than 700 dogs have been injured on racetracks over the last five years. If the act passes, Massachusetts dog racing will be phased out by 2010.

Preliminary Results: Yes = 56%, No = 44% (94% of precincts reporting)

Oklahoma residents have a chance by casting a vote on State Question 742 to voice their opinions about Senate Joint Resolution 38, which added a new section to the state constitution guaranteeing residents the right to hunt, trap and fish. The activities would be regulated by the Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Final Results: Yes = 80.05%, No = 19.95% (2231 of 2231 precincts reporting)

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