From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1998:

Alaska Ballot Measure 9, the Wolf
Snaring Initative, qualified to face the voters on
August 17, when the Alaska Supreme Court overturned
without comment a May ruling by Superior
Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline that if it passed, it
would infringe upon the Alaska Legislature’s exclusive
right to manage wildlife. Backed by Friends of
Animals, the bill bans all snaring of wolves.
Arizona Proposition 201, the Cockfighting
Initiative, survived a court challenge on
September 22 when Judge Robert Myers of the
Maricopa County Superior Court threw out a suit by
the Arizona Game Fowl Breeders Association which
attempted to invalidate more than 42,000 of the
153,494 signatures that the Arizona Secretary of State
earlier ruled were valid––40,000 more than were necessary
to put the bill to ban cockfighting to a vote. The
well-connected Game Fowl Breeders have killed anticockfighting
bills in agricultural committees of the
Arizona Legislature 23 times since 1954, but may be
out of tricks. The Arizona Star reported on September
3 that an independent poll found 87% of Arizona voters
are opposed to cockfighting. Cockfighting is currently
legal in the U.S. only in Louisiana, New
Mexico, Oklahoma, and Missouri––but Missouri too
may ban it this November.

California Proposition 4, the Wildlife
Protection Act, would make it “unlawful for any person
to trap for the purposes of recreation or commerce
in fur any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal
with a body-gripping trap.” A weakening clause states
that “The prohibition … does not apply to federal,
state, county, or municipal government employees or
their duly authorized agents in the extraordinary case
where the otherwise prohibited padded-jaw leghold
trap is the only method available to protect human
health or safety.” This allows most predator trapping
to continue. Proposition 4 also bans the use of
Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide to kill wildlife.
California Proposition 6, the Horse
Slaughter Initiative, would make killing a horse,
pony, burro, or mule to obtain flesh for human consumption
a felony. While Proposition 4 is heavily
backed by the Humane Society of the U.S., the
Animal Protection Institute, the Ark Trust, a n d
other national organizations, Proposition 6 reached the
ballot chiefly through the private efforts of S h e r r y
DeBoer of Political Animals and Cathleen Doyle of
Save The Horses, with advertising help from the
Humane Farming Association. Both propositions
face well-funded opposition.
Colorado Amendment 14, proposed by
Protecting Colorado’s Water and Economy, a n d
endorsed by Governor Roy Romer, would require
corporate hog farms to meet environmental and liability
standards. While Amendment 14 does not directly
address humane issues, if adopted it would discourage
factory farming. Countering Amendment 14 on the
Colorado ballot is Amendment 13, which would constitutionally
bar the passage of laws regulating only the
hog industry. Amendment 13 is supported by Citizens
for a Strong Rural Economy, which has apparently
raised almost three times as much money as the backers
of Amendment 14––but most of the money comes
from just four hog farmers.
Minnesota Amendment 2, pushed by the
Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance, asks “shall
the Minnesota Constitution be amended to affirm that
hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are
a valued part of our heritage and shall be forever preserved
for the people and shall be managed by law and
regulation for the public good?” Similar to an amendment
adopted by Alabama in 1996, Amendment 2
intends to forestall initiatives which might restrict
hunting, fishing, and trapping: instead of just passing
a referendum, opponents of blood sports would have
to go through the much more difficult constitutional
amendment procedure first, which requires getting an
authorizing bill through the state legislature.
Missouri Proposition A, advanced by
Missourians Against Cockfighting, would reinstate a
ban on cockfighting that was in effect from 1873 until
1985, when it was invalidated by the M i s s o u r i
Supreme Court due to vague language. Proposition A
would also ban other forms of animal fighting for
human entertainment, including bull and bear-baiting,
and bear wrestling. Proposition A is supported by the
Humane Society of Missouri and the M i s s o u r i
Animal Control Association.
Ohio State Issue 1 would restore the ban on
hunting mourning doves that was in effect from 1917
through 1974 and again from 1976 until 1995. But as
Paul Souhrada of Associated Press and Joe Dirck of
the Cleveland Plain Dealer both recently noted, a $2.3
million TV ad blitz by the pro-hunting coalition
Ohioans for Wildlife Conservation strives to broaden
the issue. Coalition chair Bob Tester, a former director
of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,
told Souhrada that, “Issue 1 is a Trojan horse––loaded
with outside extremist organizations that would not
only take doves off the game bird list, but animals off
the farm and meat off our tables.” Doves are barely
mentioned and hunters never appear in a set of seven
30-second ads that debuted in mid-September, featuring
spokespersons including Columbus Zoo d i r e c t o r
emeritus Jack Hanna. Hanna was the only major zoo
director ever expelled from the American Zoo
A s s o c i a t i o n for unethical conduct. His offense was
importing a pair of panda bears from China under a
loan agreement contradicting AZA conservation policy,
but he blamed his ouster on animal rights activism.
South Dakota voters will consider a constitutional
amendment which, as described by Joe Kafka
of Associated Press, “would bar farmers from going
into business with big corporations and forbid nonfamily
farm corporations from growing crops and owning
or raising livestock. While the measure doesn’t
specifically mention hogs, its authors say it is aimed at
hog farming.” The South Dakota amendment is a
broader disincentive to factory farming than Colorado
Amendment 14––and is also more likely to be found in
violation of the U.S. Constitution, for interfering in
interstate commerce.
Utah Proposition 5, advanced by U t a h n s
for Wildlife Heritage and Conservation, would constitutionally
require that referendums on wildlife management
pass by a vote of two-thirds, not by simple
majority. The intent is similar to that of Minnesota
Amendment 2: to keep wildlife management in control
of a self-appointing oligarchy of hunters, fishers, and
trappers, regardless of public will. Opponents include
t h e Utah Voting Rights Coalition, American Civil
Liberties Union, Utah Constitutional Revision
Commission, and both the Salt Lake Tribune and the
Deseret News, Utah’s two biggest newspapers.
Proposition 5 was placed on the ballot by a majority
vote of the state legislature, however, and was
endorsed on September 23 by the Utah Wildlife
B o a r d––although the board was forced to recant two
days later, upon learning that the endorsement procedure
violated the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act.

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