Last week, Executive Director of Ag United for South Dakota, Steve Dick, wrote on op-ed detailing North Dakota's Animal Stewards (NDAS) battle against the HSUS-backed North Dakotan's to Stop Animal Cruelty (NDSAC) over North Dakota's Ballot Measure 5 (2012).
The nations largest animal rights group, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), uses the state ballot initiative process to restrict the rights of farmers, hunters and animal owners. According to North Dakota campaign finance reporting, HSUS alone spent more than $750,000 funding the effort to pass Measure 5.
The NDAS coalition included farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, and various other agriculture organizations. It was the NDAS coalition who led the attacks revealing the truth about measure 5 and HSUS' association with NDSAC. Protect the Harvest joined with NDAS in support through television and radio ads that helped lead to the defeat of HSUS' ballot measure 5.
Even though radical animal rights groups tried to change North Dakota law, measure 5 suffered huge defeat on election day, 65 percent to 35 percent.
"Why does this matter to South Dakota?"
In 2012, South Dakota farmers and ranchers watched as their neighbors across state line were subject to HSUS' attack. Now, they themselves are preparing for HSUS' next attempt to rewrite laws.
According to Ag United, HSUS is beginning to organize South Dakota meetings to potentially create a similar North Dakota ballot initiative. South Dakotan's understand the consequences of letting HSUS dictate their laws and they are not afraid to stand up.
This strong message from Director Steve Dick, was a warning from South Dakota agriculture to remind HSUS and others that they will defend their values, just as their North Dakota neighbors did:
"Don’t let out-of-state lobbyists and activists drive the conversation about how South Dakotan's care for our animals. Take time to learn more about these activist groups and reach out to friends, neighbors and family members now to ensure that we are ready in case South Dakota becomes the next target of their efforts."