It disgusts me to report to you that the Arizona Legislature has just passed House Bill 2150, so it has landed on Governor Doug Ducey's desk, and animal advocates are asking for a veto. HB 2150 denies farm animals–namely cows, pigs, and chickens–protection under animal cruelty laws by labeling them as "livestock" instead of "animals." This new "livestock" category would have weaker protections, including a reduction in the penalties for cruelty to farm animals and ending the current felony status of abandoning or medically neglecting farm animals.
Farm animals feel the same emotional and physical pain as dogs and cats, but since they are allowed to be used for meat, they are often thought of as less-advanced, and it can be difficult to ensure they receive the same protection as "pets."
It is difficult to see any benefit in this bill being allowed to pass and only raises questions about what the agricultural industry might be hiding. If farmers are treating their animals well, which they should be, then why would they advocate for weaker animal-cruelty laws? Smells fishy to me. Matthew Hendley in an article for Phoenix New Times, states that Republican Senator John Kavanagh, who opposes the bill says "(HB) 2150 requires police officers who are investigating livestock abuse to notify civilians in the Department of Agriculture, thereby potentially compromising ongoing investigations–or should I say, investigations that never get started...no other area of law enforcement requires such an outside notification."
I find this appalling, so I have signed a petition targeted at Arizona State Senators to help stop HB 2150. Will you join me? Click the button, below, to sign the petition, and please share this post to help spread the word.