The Animal Legal Defense Fund is urging Missouri voters to oppose state representative Ward Franz’s bill (HB 1513), that would throw the state’s animal cruelty laws into uncertainty and confusion, potentially eliminating all animals’ right to be free from abuse, cruelty, and neglect, simply because those rights are “equivalent” to the rights Missouri also “confers by law upon a human being.”
To make a political statement, Franz wants to write a provision into state law which states that animals shall not have any rights that are “equivalent” to or that exceed the rights of human beings. But because Missouri’s historic state animal cruelty laws place legal duties on humans, duties that protect animals, the law is premised on animals having certain rights – rights to be free from abuse, cruelty, neglect, starvation, etc. Because those rights are equivalent to many of the rights Missouri law guarantees human beings, and children in particular, state animal cruelty laws will be thrown into doubt. Do those laws grant equivalent rights? Do they grant greater rights?
In Missouri both human beings and animals have a legal right not to be abused. Franz’s bill says animals cannot have the same right. That makes no sense.
By attempting to change the traditional animal cruelty paradigm in order to score political points with factory farmers and puppy mill breeders, Franz is inadvertently handing every animal abuser in the state a legal defense.
Please take a moment to contact your state legislators today through ALDF’s website and urge them to oppose any legislation that will weaken Missouri’s historical animal cruelty law.
Missouri’s animals are wholly reliant on us to stand and speak for them. Please speak out today!
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Article source: IFAW