Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Topic of Animal Cruelty Moves to the WCF Front-burner

An examination of Sen. Alan Christensen's SB-117

To start out the discussion this morning, we'll put the spotlight on this Voice of Utah blog article, which we think, frankly, is too danged good to miss.

The article revolves around Senator Alan Christensen's proposed SB-117, which pits animal rights activists (including the Humane Society) against Utah farmers and ranchers. Opponents of the bill argue that Sen. Christensen's bill actually weakens existing protection for animals as a practical matter; while the Utah Farm Bureau backs the bill, arguing that it merely protects traditional animal husbandry practices.

Opponents of the bill also contend that a proper "animal cruelty" bill (unlike SB-117) would give prosecutors at least the option to prosecute as a felony on a first offense. (Your Weber County Forum blogmeister leans toward agreeing with the bill's opponents on this point, by the way, in case any of our readers are curious.)

In that connection, check out the the succinct paragraph of reader "Help Us," in the VOU article comments section:

"What if" scenarios do not apply. Logic follows that if you enable a prosecutor the option to employ a felony when considering punishment, he or she will make a decision. We are not talking mandatory minimums...we are saying quit giving the prosecutors empty tool bags!
On the same topic -- and as an added bonus -- we link this ABC-4 webpage, which does a particulaly good job of framing the issues.

So what about it gentle readers? Are there any Utah farmers or ranchers who'd like to comment on this proposed bill? Owners of domestic pets? Connoisseurs of graphic images with clever cartoon balloons? There's a little something for everybody in this article; and we thank the Voice of Utah blog (and the Utah Amicus) for bringing this timely topic to the public discussion front-burner.


Bill C. said...

I recall in most of Christensen's interviews his basic point is he does not want to grant animals rights and protections he feels only humans should enjoy. I believe he put it as,granting animals human rights.
So his solution is to grant humans the ability to act in most animalistic way. But that's not fair to the animal kingdom because the actions he's basically protecting can only be done by a human. I don't believe animals are inflicted with the human trait of SADISM.

The Lady Logician said...

He's right that common sense legislation is needed, however this is far from common sense but then what else do you expect from most legislators!

I tend to not take ANYTHING that AR groups say at face value because they ARE pushing to give animals preferential rights to humans. However, there does need to be something in this bill to address real abuse (such as was described in VOU post.

This IS a horrible bill and deserves to be defeated.


Farmer Fred said...

Tell us Bill... Would you abuse your own goats?


ozboy said...

Once again the DNews puts its finger on a major problem with the annual clown Fest - AKA Utah State Legislature.

This time the DNews points out that 26% of the "substantive" bills introduced this year pose conflict of interests for their sponsors.

I found of particular interest the following from that article:

"Of 799 substantive bills introduced this session, 210 created apparent conflicts of interest for the sponsors"

The immediate question that I had was: There were about 1200 bills introduced, does this mean that 400 of them were not "substantive"? (ie - most of the nonsense morons like Chris Butters puts forth). Does this mean that if you add the 210 bills that have conflicts to the 400 that are not "substantive" you will have 600 of the 1200 bills that our Legislative clowns submitted are flawed? Is fully half of what these Bozo's do BS?

Please Curmudgeon, tell us it ain't so!

Read the article here: Bozos convene

Bill C. said...

Well Frank, Christensen would probably concider my animals as domesticated farm animals but I am more inclined to view them as pets. None more spoiled than the hen turkey, she gets anything she wants.
It may be open for debate regarding abuse, during the warmer seasons I've been known to sit out back and play songs on my $50 Japanese guitar and sing, to some that could be abusive, but the animals never have complained.
Mostly I think my animals have adjusted quite well to the comunity norms and practice pretty much the same behavior as my neighbors. Breeding and eating.

Itinerant Poster said...

Animals within the control of humans are virtually innocent and helpless. Some arguments are being made that significant protection of animals will serve to elevate animal value to equal/surpass human value.

I think that heightened protection of animals elevates the value of humans enacting the protection.

The more we as humans protect the innocent and helpless the better we become - no one (animal or human) could catch the enhanced value of such an enlightened human society.

The Lady Logician said...

Itinerant Poster....what do you consider to be "heightened protection"? That is the million dollar question in this debate. What is considered to be a common sense protection is not considered to be enough by the AR's. That is the point. The AR's use all of this flowery, nebulous language that no one can disagree with, but when the devilish details come out, we find out that their idea of "heightened protection" is for the animals to be "freed" from their human "captors" so that they can starve to death in the wild (that is what happens to the lab animals they "rescue"). How humane is that??????


Itinerant Poster said...

Hello LL,

I think we are more in agreement than you think, or that I perhaps clumsily typed in my post.

I was trying to make the point that(some of the)heightened protection of innocent/helpless anything or anybody does not (always) decrease the comparitive human value.

I was trying to make that point because it seemed to me that some in the news were opposing some aspects of the proposed animal protection legislation, because it would result in a higher punishment for human-animal cruelty than for human-human cruelty.

I appreciate your thoughtful comments


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