Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has vetoed a bill that would declare that inside the borders of Arizona, the term “animal” does not include livestock – and thusly ends our fun with the semantics lesson for the day … we hope … sincerely.
Can we all agree to just call things what they are? K, thanks.
H.B. 2150 sought to change the label given to livestock, which would have effectively put them in a weaker class of protective statutes. The bill also would have eliminated the crimes of “abandonment” and “medical neglect” for livestock and poultry, stripped municipalities and counties of their right to promulgate stronger animal welfare protection, and required that the Department of Agriculture must be notified prior to any investigation of reported livestock abuse, which would have slowed down and undermined law enforcement work.
“I know we all agree that animal cruelty is inexcusable, unacceptable, and absolutely will not be tolerated in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said in his veto letter. “No animal should be the victim of abuse. Moreover, perpetrators must be held to account and properly penalized to the fullest extent of the law.”
Public outcry against the bill was fierce; Ducey’s voicemail box filled up with messages voicing opposition before the bill had even reached his desk. Once the story got out, people from all across the country reached out to urge the Governor not to allow this to stand. At last count, nearly 20,000 people contacted his office!
Making our voices heard is the best way to ensure that the will of the people is taken into account when it comes to this type of legislation, and this scenario is proof positive that it can garner results.
While opponents of the bill are happy that such a misguided and poorly worded statute won’t be hitting the books, not everyone was satisfied with Governor Ducey’s decision. The bill’s primary sponsor, Brenda Barton, took to her Twitter account repeatedly on the day of the appeal in an effort to slam the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), one of the most vocal groups in opposition of the bill.
Man, these grapes are sour. Maybe if we rename the grapes they won’t taste so bad?
In the meantime, livestock can now continue to eat at the table with the cool kids (in this instance, dogs and cats) since they get to keep calling themselves animals and all. While cows were unavailable for comment at the time the story went to press, we’re pretty sure they’d like to thank Governor Ducey for doing the right thing and for letting them be referred to as, you know, what they actually are.
We mean, really, it’s not like they didn’t have enough problems with being called “burgers” and “steaks” all the time, they surely didn’t need further name confusion, are we right?
Lead image source: HD Wallpapers Inn