Brian: Last Friday, six animal welfare ballot initiatives, three constitutional and three statutory, received title status from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. Mike Callicrate, Colorado Rancher and co-sponsor of the ballot initiatives, explains that he is supporting these bills in an effort to fight back against industrial farming, pushing for more consumer education, and support for family farmers and ranchers. He discusses Title 98.
Mike: It’s an amendment to the Colorado Constitution providing that it is not a defense to a charge under the Animal Cruelty Statue, that a livestock or companion animal is treated in accordance with an accepted animal husbandry practice. Now that causes producers heartburn but the problem is we never decided what an accepted animal husbandry practice is. But it’s a wide open excuse to do anything you want to an animal and my example is: how does a sow get into a gestation crate?
It certainly doesn’t happen with a family farmer! It doesn’t happen with a hog farmer! It happens with a big corporation that wants to hire cheaper labor and get farmers off the land and replaced with refugee workers. That is something we’ll be discussing as we go forward in this initiative and to see what actually is going to end up on the ballot.
Brian: One side note, he says he created the Callicrate Banders for cattle producers to use as needed. However, he says that although it’s acceptable to tail dock sheep, cattle tails in general don’t need to be docked, as they are used and needed to swat flies. According to Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar, only one dairy in the state of Colorado uses tail docking. Mike Callicrate is being backed by the Humane Society of the United States and right now they are working to gather 80,000 plus signatures needed to get those initiatives on the ballot this November.
Brian Allmer | The BARN / Barn Media & the Colorado Ag News Networks