Animal Rights activists will soon be once again circulating petitions in Oregon to put an extreme measure on the 2024 ballot that, in their own words “is the first ballot initiative in history that would criminalize the killing and breeding of animals.”
Oregonians are urged to not sign this petition for Initiative Petition 3, even though it is being advertised as an “end to animal cruelty” and an effort to ensure “all animals have equal protection under the law.” In fact, this animal rights measure will criminalize all hunting, many breeding practices – and even many humane forms of dog training.
Scroll down for more information on actions you can take today to fight this dangerous measure that will punish animals and responsible owners.
In 2021, supporters began advocating for Initiative Petition 13, officially called the “Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act”.
AKC joined two broad coalitions – one with agriculture and veterinary interests, and one with sporting and conservation interests – to spread the word on the many dangers of this initiative and the detrimental impact it would have on animals, the economy, and responsible animal owners in the state.
Thanks to these efforts, and those of many AKC club members, sportsmen, and others who helped educate others to not sign the petition, supporters were forced to abandon efforts for 2022 and reorganize.
But now they are once again gathering signatures to place this measure – now called Initiative Petition 3 – on the 2024 ballot.
In the words of supporters, Initiative Petition (IP) 3, known as the “Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act”, is “the first ballot initiative in history that would criminalize the killing and breeding of animals. We want to protect an animal’s universal right to life, and we believe that the ballot initiative process is an effective, nonviolent, and democratic strategy for social change.”
Among many provisions, IP 3 does the following:
- Criminalizes standard husbandry practices and numerous agriculture and other humane animal activities and practices (including hunting), as well as “reasonable handling and training techniques”, all of which are protected under current law
- Criminalizes artificial insemination and equates it to sexual assault of an animal.
- Provides a vague exemption for veterinary practices, but it is unclear how this would impact ear cropping and tail docking.
- Removes the word “intentional”, thereby criminalizing even unintentional harm or neglect of any animal including wildlife. While responsible animal ownership and care is always the goal, unfortunate accidents can happen. No one wants to see an animal come to harm or injury, but it is an unfortunate reality that, just as with people, accidents can occur in everyday activities despite taking appropriate precautions. For example, there are incidents where an animal may be harmed in a vehicle or other accident. Similarly, a service or working dog, a dog participating in a safe, humane event, or even a dog with an exuberant spirit and high energy could in the course of an activity receive an injury through no fault of the owner.
This initiative will also have dire consequences on ranchers, farmers, fishermen, 4-H and similar groups, and even pest control.
In May 2022, AKC joined numerous other groups in submitting comments to the Secretary of State to ensure the ballot language was as clear as possible in explaining to voters exactly what IP 3 entails. We thanked them for keeping language supported by sportsmen and other groups in 2021 that makes the official title “Criminalizes Injuring or Killing Animals, Including Killing for Food, Hunting, Fishing; Criminalizes Breeding Practices. Exceptions.”
AKC emphasized that we strongly support full enforcement of Oregon’s current cruelty laws, but that Oregonians need to be aware that safe, humane practices will now be treated as criminal activities and that even unintentional harm to an animal is a criminal offense.
Supporters recently stated that those who submitted comments regarding the ballot measure “support the intentional injury, killing, and sexual assault of animals” – a comment that is offensive and patently untrue, but demonstrates the extreme opinions and agendas of those behind IP 3.
What You Can Do Today
AKC Government Relations has joined a broad coalition of sportsmen, fishermen, farmers, agriculture groups, veterinarians, and other animal owners to oppose Initiative Petition 13, and we need your help.
Supporters of this problematic measure must collect 112,020 signatures from registered Oregon voters to place this initiative on the 2024 ballot. You can help fight this by taking the following actions:
1) If you are approached, do not sign the petition.
2) Ask your friends and colleagues to not sign the petition. Also remind exhibitors at Oregon dog shows and events, students in training and CGC classes, owners who have purchased a dog from you, etc. to not sign the petition.
3) If you notice a business distributing petitions and collecting signatures, respectfully express your concerns and ask them to not collect signatures for this ballot measure.
4) Register to vote and encourage your fellow club members to do the same. Urge them to vote NO should IP 3 reach the ballot. Visit the Oregon Secretary of State’s website to register or update your registration.
AKC will provide more information as it becomes available. We continue to remain active members in both coalitions we joined in 2021. We have also recently joined the new Oregon Sportsmen’s Conservation Partnership (OSCP), which brings together groups from across the state who are dedicated to protecting Oregon’s hunting and sporting heritage through legislative, education, and other similar initiatives.
If you have questions on IP 3, or if you participate in AKC sporting events in Oregon and are interested in learning more about OSCP or have specific issues you wish us to bring forward to the coalition, please contact AKC Government Relations at email@example.com.