Guest Post: Animal Cruelty Legislation Has Been In The Works For Years


A Dec. 10 post on regarding proposed legislation dealing with inhumane treatment of animals may have inadvertently left some listeners confused.

The proposed legislation to enhance and clarify North Dakota’s animal treatment laws was developed over several years by North Dakotans for Responsible Animal Care (NDRAC), a group of individuals and organizations that have the responsibility of caring for animals in North Dakota.

Members include the Central Dakota Humane Society, Dakota Zoo, Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Farmers Union, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, North Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, North Dakota Department of Agriculture, and North Dakota State Board of Animal Health.

The legislation is comprehensive, addressing all animals and all types of mistreatment – from the most common to the most unusual and provides an array of penalties to match the severity of the crime.

As legislation, it will be debated with opportunity for the public to be heard through testimony and contact with their legislators. Moreover, it will be fully open to amendment in the future unlike language in a successful ballot measure that requires a two-thirds majority.

And unlike Measure 5, which was defeated in the November election, the proposed legislation was developed without the participation of out-of-state interests, most notably the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization with a distinct, anti-animal agriculture agenda. NDRAC members felt that a victory for the initiated measure would embolden HSUS to introduce anti-agriculture measures in North Dakota, as it has done in other states.

The proposed legislation has already drawn the support and sponsorship of a bipartisan group of legislators who represent both rural and urban districts.

The legislative solution devised by North Dakotans who care for animals every day takes into account all aspects of animal care and use in North Dakota. It is the right way to improve animal welfare in our state without threatening our agricultural and hunting heritage. We urge all North Dakotans, regardless of how they voted on Measure 5, to contact their local legislators and urge them to pass the legislation proposed by NDRAC.

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  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    I don’t believe the legislation is needed, but I believe that the legislature is the proper forum for creating a law. A ballot measure is not.

    • Rob

      I agree. I’ve yet to see evidence that we need a change to the status quo.

  • Lianne

    Is it possible for us to get a copy of the proposed legislation so we can read it for ourselves and make an informed decision? Can you add the proposal to this post for everyone’s perusal? I have asked for documentation of the animal cruelty that is so pervasive here in ND. I have yet ro receive any.

    • RCND

      Right now they are starting to post prefiled bills. You should be able to find it by going to the 63rd Legislative Session link and checking out each respective chamber’s bill links. Unfortunately the Major Topics Index isn’t populated yet, but that is being worked on

      • Lianne

        thanks, I was suggesting to them that they should provide us with the bill rather than just telling us to support it. But, you’re right. That is expecting too much!

  • Lynn Bergman

    Having read far too many newspaper stories about horse starvation here in North Dakota, I believe the legislation is needed. The horse starvers are, I believe, “Wannabe Cowboys” who thus tarnish the reputations of North Dakota’s legitimate ranching community. We have a thriving “western legacy” tourism industry that also is harmed by the horse starvation idiots.
    North Dakotans will contribute to good legislation by testifying. And out-of-state radicals will be exposed… if they even show up.

    • Rob

      Is horse starvation a problem?

      I guess I hadn’t noticed these stories you speak of, but maybe I just don’t pay close enough attention.

      I hope that the debate about this bill includes some real data on animal injuries/death from cruelty of the sort that the law would prevent. Too often the legislature passes laws based on anecdotes instead of good data.

  • nimrod

    The easiest thing to do for preventing animal cruelty is make it easier to slaughter horses. Horse slaughter gives unwanted horses value. When an animal is deemed worthless is when an animal is subject to abuse.

  • Don Pfaff

    How about the four wild dogs that were running dangerously at
    large last week and the authorities had to put one down. Were would that fall
    under the new law???

    • Rob

      Maybe we’ll have to start giving animals due process rights.


      • Bat One

        Liberals already have due process rights, same as the rest of us.

    • Guest

      Holy sh*t you’re either stupid or misinformed. Even the defeated ballot initiative exempted action taken for protection of self or property. But lying about such things has never stopped conservatards before I suppose…

    • Guest

      Holy $h*t you’re either stupid or misinformed. Even the defeated ballot initiative exempted action taken for protection of self or property. But lying about such things has never stopped conservatards before I suppose…

  • Flamejob5

    This is rediculous.

    You cannot give rights to a creature which cannot comprehend them.

    Good grief, we already have enough humans today who don’t understand the definition of a right.

    • Guest

      Animals may not understand rights, but they almost certainly understand cruel infliction of pain.

      • Flamejob5

        So is the pain “cruel” when the Lion attacks and maims the antelope?

        …or does this pain become pleasant because the Lion is hungry and needs to eat?

        • Guest

          Yes, other animals are subject to the law, including all the lions roaming free in North Dakota. What a sharp legal mind you have. Derp.

          • Flamejob5

            Your right. No Mountain Lions have ever been sighted in ND.

            If i ever get attacked and survive by one of these fictional ND lions someday, and new ND animal “rights” legislation gets passed (being that Mr. Lion now has “rights”) i can then persue justice legally through our court system correct?

            How is Mr. Lion going to compensate me financially? Will he go to animal jail?

          • Guest

            Since you’re someone who doesn’t even know the difference between your and you’re, it’s no wonder that you still don’t understand that animal cruelty laws don’t apply to animals. Yes animals will still kill each other, but that doesn’t mean humans should needlessly inflict pain on animals. If you think you have the right to do whatever animals can do, go ahead and take a dump in front of a police officer like a wild animal and give a judge and prosecutor a good laugh with your profoundly reasoning.

          • Flamejob5

            …and you having difficulty in overcoming a simple grammatical error says a whole lot towards your comprehension abilities. Remember next time… Baby steps.

            “Animal cruelty laws don’t apply to animals.”

            Really? So these new laws would be enacted to protect humans?

            If you take animal “rights” to their logical conclusion, your entire existance has been a violation of so-called animal “rights.”

            By “needlessly” eating an animal, you have violated animal “rights.” By “needlessly” clearing a forest to build a farm, you have violated the “rights” of those animals/insects/plants that lived there prior to clearing. By catchng a fish in the lake for “needless” sport, you have violated the rights of that fish.

            Who get’s to define “needlessly?” A State/National board? …or the individual?

            See, it’s actually troglodytes like you who propose granting rational, reasoning human rights to irrational animals (bugs/plants next), in essence “lifting” them to an equal footing (or actually a higher degree of empowerment) than humans in order to guilt us evil plunderer’s back into riding horseback/bicycles to our cave dwellings.

          • Flamejob5

            Horseback prob even falls into “needless” catagory for some extremists out there.

          • Guest

            Yes, horseback riding serves no purpose other than to inflict pain onto a horse. Nobody horseback rides for transportation and horses suffer greatly for the leisure. Derp.

          • Flamejob5

            Ever seen a horse getting broken in?

            A tulip like you would prolly faint just watching.

          • Guest

            You seem to be under the impression animal cruelty laws will stop any and all form of pain or annoyance to an animal which is patently untrue. Thank you for resorting to such lies and constructively admitting your position is wholly without merit.

          • Guest

            Good thing there not the ones deciding whether to prosecute for torture.

          • Guest

            Holy $h*t, you are seriously one of the stupidest people I’ve ever encountered. Taking animal rights to your “logical conclusion” is in no sense logical. Every thing you listed as needless does in fact have a reason for it’s action. Humans eating or clearing land for development all have a facially obvious reason besides the bare desire to harm another living thing. Of course, only someone as profoundly stupid as you would think such activities are on the same level as lighting a puppy on fire. As with everything in law, of course there are grey areas. Just as a jury gets to decide whether someone took reasonable care to prevent injury in an negligence law suit, determining whether someone’s only desire is to harm another living thing is not an impossible determinination. All the cases you listed would never even be brought by a prosecutor because they have facially obvious non-cruel purposes.

            See, it’s actually total f$%cking $hitheads like you who take a rational cause and got to irrational lengths to oppose it (killing an animal for sustenance has no purpose, derp!) are the backwards thinking scum of the earth. You can’t spell and have no reasoning skills and simply embarrassing yourself with your laughably weak arguments. Thank for the laugh $hithead!

          • Flamejob5

            Not only are you f&ckin’ nuts, but, as nutters go, haven’t a clue when it comes to understanding how human nature operates.

            Nearly every nutcase, feel-good law chipping-away at freedom in existance today is based upon some highly-sensitive asshat like you voting to set one new precedence after another and drift further away from enlightenment principles. In fact, it’s become so bad that we’ve almost come full circle today and appear to be headed towards revisiting the Dark Ages.

            We don’t need to set new precedent in giving animals “rights” equal to those of humans in order to punish those who are unnecessarily cruel to them. Also, no new government law (or granting of rights) is going to prevent an individual who truly wants to act cruely towards an animal from acting upon it.

            You’re psychotic, safety-orientated, full-throttle-ahead mentality is why we have drones flying overhead and camera’s being mounted everywhere today. You’re why grandma either gets the choice at the airport of a hand down her pants or being radiated.

            Due to closet-luddites, we’re regressing due to an epidemic of hyper-emotional safety extremists who have been propagandized to “think” like you do.

          • Guest

            Thank you for making a post that contains only attacks against me and constructively admitting that your argument is wholly without merit.

          • Flamejob5

            So… does each species of animal get their own lawyer to represent their newfound rights? Bovine lawyers… reptile attorneys… avery legal representatives… Canine legal firm? Not all animals are created equal you know. Some are not as bright as others and require special needs.

            I’d like to know how all these lawyers representing these critters are gonna know what their animal clients were thinking when witnesses see them cruelly & viciously attacking one another? …or perhaps a human?

        • $34543430

          I think the idea is that we are somehow different from animals, and maybe should be held to a different standard

    • tomorrowclear

      Like fetuses, or two-year olds, you raging imbecile?

      • Flamejob5

        No, like an eggplant fucktard.

        The difference is that HUMAN fetuses and HUMAN two yr. olds will eventually comprehend their natural rights as they age. (public education tends to delay the process)

        Until then, the protection of their natural rights falls upon parental duty.

        • Guest

          What about the developmentally disabled? They don’t understand rights either, so your limitation of protection only to those who comprehend rights is still extremely flawed. Since you apparently don’t understand what comprises rights, perhaps it should be permissible to senselessly kill and torture you as well :)

          • Flamejob5

            Mentally disabled humans who can’t understand their rights is not the societal norm and represents a tiny fraction of our human population. However, the norm for the animal kindom is 100% failure to comprehend any notion whatsoever of possessing “rights.”

            Perhaps you should consider parting from humanity and joining the animal kingdom? …or would that be too “Darwinian” of a lifestyle for you? Perhaps i’ve mistaken you for someone who’s all for the strong violently overtaking the weak?

            No? Well i’m certain there’s plenty of vacancy in the plant kingdom for a new weed or shrub.

          • Guest

            So now your argument shifts to the percentage of people who understand the right? At what percentage does the entire species get the right? 10% 20%? There are some extremely intelligent gorillas that have the reasoning skills of a young child that may understand the concept of rights. Do they all therefore deserve not to be needlessly tortured? How will you make that determination? By handing out a multiple choice test to all animals? Your same arguments were applied by racists who were convinced that African Americans were inferior and were not deserving of any rights. Again you make a determination that your self assumed superiority gives you the right to tortue other living things. Perhaps you should consider doing the world a huge favor and ending your life since you are an unthinking parasite undeserving of the basic courtesy to be free from the needless infliction of pain that you arbitrarily deny to other living things.

          • Flamejob5

            Wow. You’re a genuine sociopath.

  • dlao

    who at the NDGFD will be held accountable for starving deer since they own them?

  • Flamejob5

    Should we set-up animal courts for animals that don’t respect the rights of other animals? Then we could put Mr. Wolf on trial for the questionable killing of an innocent chicken. Was this murder really necessary? Just how hungry really was Mr . Wolf? Were there any witnesses? Should we question Mr. Wolf’s family & friends?

    Justice must be served.

    How about we include insects & plants in the discussion as well?