[SAOVA_South] News & Legislation Briefs October 12, 2011

Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) saova_south at mailman.montana.com
Wed Oct 12 17:09:18 MDT 2011


 

News & Legislation Briefs October 12, 2011

 

Dear SAOVA Friends,

 

Last week I attended our local HSUS grassroots meeting which proved to be
eventful as well as enlightening.  As requested on the web event calendar, I
submitted an RSVP for the meeting and received a confirmation. However, the
day before the scheduled meeting I received an email from our HSUS State
Director informing me this was a private meeting for animal advocates
interested in helping animals and our shelters, and she felt that my agenda
would not be the same. Politely, she then suggested that it would be better
if I did not attend.  The meeting was being held in our public library and
after assurances from officials that my attendance could not be blocked,
friends and I sat in on the meeting and proceeded to take notes on her
presentation.  

 

ADVOCATING FOR ANIMALS – CREATING CHANGE was the presentation title.
Subtitle and focus was “working to support our shelters” because our
shelters are in crisis.  Speaking from the role of animal control’s new best
friend, it was stated that understanding the issues faced by animal control
personnel is critical.  They are all dealing with budget cuts, animal
overpopulation, and insufficient ordinances. Instead of being angry with
animal control, advocates should work to pass local ordinances that contain
housing, shelter, tethering, and animal care regulations and not wait for
regulation at the state level.   

 

The presentation included a segment on community outreach with suggestions
to use HSUS literature for responsible care and puppy mill education;
distribute anti-tether information from Unchain Your Dog; and engage your
local pastor in helping animals, i.e., religious outreach.

 

The bulk of the presentation focused on shelter needs, networking, and ways
to volunteer which was a drastic shift from the presentation in 2010 (See
HSUS Lobbying in Your State http://saova.org/download.html).  However, there
was a quick review of the bullet list of desired legislation:  increased
penalties for animal cruelty; commercial breeder regulation; strengthen
animal fighting law; stop wildlife abuse (penning); and statewide regulation
for animal housing and shelter.   More of the meeting will be covered on the
SAOVA blog.

 

If you have not attended an HSUS grassroots meeting, you should.  The animal
rights agenda may be crystal clear to you, but it is not understood by the
general public who cannot distinguish it from animal welfare. Listening to
the smooth manner in which HSUS feeds their agenda to an audience is an
education in itself.  Learning what activists have planned for your
community can only be to your advantage when speaking to your elected
officials.

 

The world not only belongs to those who show up, it's controlled by the best
informed and most motivated.

Thanks for reading. Cross posting is encouraged.

Susan Wolf
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance - http://saova.org
Issue lobbying and working to identify and elect supportive legislators




A LOT PLAYERS, NOW TIME FOR A TEAM


Inside D.C. September 30, 2011 By Steve Kopperud
<http://brownfieldagnews.com/author/skopperud/>  

 

Reprinted with permission from Brownfield Ag News 

http://brownfieldagnews.com/2011/09/30/a-lot-players-now-time-for-a-team/ 

The fledgling Farmers & Ranchers Alliance held a series of town hall-type
meetings this month – DC, New York, Davis, CA, and Fair Oaks, IN – all part
of its “Food Dialogue” effort to reinflate U.S. consumer appreciation for
the people and the system that feeds them and a big chunk of the planet. As
part of the debut, the Alliance released some very interesting survey
results. First, 2,000 or so consumers generally admit they don’t much about
food production, but that ignorance informs their buying decisions. Second,
farmers and ranchers surveyed guessed as much about their consumer
customers, and figure what consumers think they know is wrong.

I’m glad someone’s finally got the consumer on record admitting he/she
doesn’t know what it takes to produce food, whether fruit, veg, grain or
animal.  But this simply confirms what most of us knew.  The underlying
value of the Alliance — and trust me, I think the Alliance is a superior
operation —  effort is that it unites all of ag in a broad-based effort to
enhance consumer appreciation of farmers, ranchers and the absolutely
irreplaceable survival component they represent for the rest of us.

The New York Times, as might be expected, wrote a typically snarky and
generally naïve article about the Alliance, and an animal rights blogger
reacted to the Alliance:  “Until now, the animal advocacy movement’s
opposition was largely a bunch of poorly organized and relatively
underfunded misfits
” Now, save for the “misfit” description, she’s correct.
Why? Because all of our efforts in agriculture to promote our industry are
uncoordinated and generally, uncooperative.

The Alliance is the biggest and broadest producer effort out there, but it
isn’t by any means the only effort trying to reach into the consumer psyche
to instill and reinforce consumer trust in farmers and ranchers and the
industries and disciplines which support and rely upon them. There is the
Animal Agriculture Alliance; the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition; American
Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology; our animal
science and veterinary medicine allies – Council for Agriculture Science &
Technology, American Society for Animal Science, Federation of Animal
Science Societies, American Veterinary Medical Assn., species practitioner
groups – and then there are individual national association programs, state
programs, and individual species advocacy programs, such as the United
Horsemen. Oh, and let us not forget the private, for-profit endeavors to
which some corporations naively turn for “insight” into how to deal with
anti-agriculture forces.

Most of these are top-of-the-line efforts, and while some are more focused
on animal production and others are broad agriculture in their
concentration, all share a goal of enhancing production ag, and regaining
the trust and confidence of consumers who are barraged daily by the “big
lie” of bad production, fertilized by political propaganda, misinformation
and downright lies about where food in this country comes from.

However, what are lacking from this industry-wide effort are a lack of ego —
both personal and organizational — and a healthy dose of coordination and
cooperation. There are folks who sit on the boards and committees of more
than one of these efforts, but they are few and far between. It would be
significant mistake for such efforts to spend tight money to duplicate
efforts, re-do research and surveys which have been done to death and always
say the same thing, and from a policy standpoint, we’d be fools not to try
and solidify as much of a producer/input industry/processor base as
possible.

Key to this coordinated effort must be a willingness to acknowledge eroding
consumer confidence due to attacks by the “good food movement,” or animal
rights, or enviro groups or others who don’t or refuse to understand
production ag, is a universal assault. It’s not specific to a crop or a
species; it’s an attack on all of us in conventional and organic
agriculture. So, the less-than-subtle message is as follows: Let’s get our
act together, check our egos at the door, and start a serious coordinated
effort – preserving our individual identities – but let’s make sure we’re
getting the biggest bang for our buck by ensuring we’re echoing, not talking
over, each other.

 

TEXAS DOG AND CAT BREEDER REGULATION UPDATE 

On October 10, 2011 The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)
issued a Request for Proposal for Development Of Course Material and
Delivery of Inspection Training Services for the Licensed Dog and Cat
Breeders Program.   The RFP states all proposals submitted must assume that
standards set forth in 9 C.F.R. Part 3, Subpart A (federal regulations) form
the basis for the development of course material, protocols,  implementation
of training, the creation of inspection checklists, and reporting
requirements. In developing course material and delivering training
services, proposers must describe the methodology for and be prepared to
manage all aspects of the statewide training program. In addition selected
vendors must have the experience and ability to design, develop, implement
and provide curricula that meet current and future training needs of
inspectors and investigators assigned to the breeder program. The 9-page RFP
can be viewed at this link http://tinyurl.com/3jcatth  

 

The chosen third party vendors will contract with TDLR to design every
aspect of the newly created bureaucracy created by HB 1451. This includes
protocols for reporting animal cruelty; all course and study materials;
provide training services and staff; guides for facility inspections;
identify training locations with access to actual breeder operations for
hands on training; design testing and inspector certification process.

 

This comprehensive program development could cost hundreds of thousands of
dollars. Where will the funding for these contracts come from? The RFP ends
the ridiculous assertion of the HB1451 Fiscal Note which read HB1451 would
have “an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2013." 



The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Bill Analysis “House Bill 1451:
Breeding Big Government” warned that the bill would be costly to licensees
and taxpayers.  The report further noted that Texas already exceeds the
national average of licensed occupations. 

 

Additional information is posted on the SAOVA website as we continue to
follow the course of this new regulation.

 

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