Missouri House to Consider Amendment Protecting Livestock Farming
JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri lawmaker said Monday afternoon he wants to amend the state constitution to protect livestock farmers from misguided initiatives.
Rep. Tom Loehner, R-Koeltztown, said he has nothing against initiatives, but he thinks voters can be too easily misled by animal rights groups about animal agriculture. His proposal, HJR 61, would amend the constitution to affirm the right to raise animals for consumption and ban any law regarding animal agriculture from being enacted by initiative petition.
Bob Baker, executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, said the proposed amendment would draw "an automatic line in the sand" blocking the use of initiatives in a way that does not exist anywhere else in state law. He said the bill was originally more extensive before his group convinced Loehner to take some provisions out. According to the House's website, the original text banned legislation from imposing "an undue economic burden" on livestock owners. Baker said the proposal goes too far in its current form.
The resolution is scheduled for a final vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. If it passes both houses, Loehner said he is confident voters would approve the measure.