ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU
P.O. Box 31, Little Rock 72203
Jan. 6, 2009
For immediate release
Farm Bureau Supports AG’s Animal Cruelty Proposal
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Farm Bureau’s board of directors voted Tuesday to support animal cruelty legislation that will be proposed in the 87th General Assembly by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
The organization called up long-standing policy in supporting the bill, said Randy Veach, president of Arkansas Farm Bureau. Veach cited the following Arkansas Farm Bureau policy in announcing support for McDaniel’s bill:
- We oppose cruel and abusive treatment of animals;
- We support common-sense animal cruelty legislation, with the rights of producers being secured;
- Violations of Arkansas animal cruelty law should remain a misdemeanor, except in extreme cases of cruelty;
- Only certified law enforcement officers should be authorized, by law, to make arrests for animal cruelty offenses.
“We applaud General McDaniel for his diligent work in crafting legislation that addresses abusive treatment of animals, while protecting the interests of agriculture,” said Veach, a cotton, soybean, rice and wheat farmer from Manila (Mississippi County). “We know how much detail has gone into crafting this proposal, and are hopeful that this bill can move through the legislative process as presented.
“This legislation includes very specific definitions of what constitutes cruelty, and places arrest authority in the hands of law enforcement officials. Those are the areas that have caused the most difficulty in past efforts to get an animal cruelty bill passed.”
Arkansas Farm Bureau has supported bills each of the past three legislative sessions that would have made repeat offenses of animal cruelty a felony, while opposing other proposals that included unclear language and continued the practice of allowing private citizens to have arrest authority.
“We have fought for a common sense application of animal cruelty laws. We believe what is being proposed by the attorney general reflects a lot of work, input and agreement over what Arkansas’ law should include,” said Veach. “General McDaniel brings a lot of credibility to the process of crafting a law that limits the risk of unintended consequences.”
Veach noted that several agricultural groups have been involved with the AG’s office in crafting the proposed legislation. The proposal is expected to be filed during the first week of the legislative session.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 227,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.
This release is available online at www.arfb.com.
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