Assistant Editor’s Note: First Gent is rallying the troops for leg session
Colorado First Gentleman Marlon Reis condemned the treatment of farm animals in a case in Greeley that is garnering press attention and a fair amount of noise on social media. According to one report, carcasses have been decomposing in pens alongside live animals and neighbors have questioned the body condition of live animals in this person’s care. Not having all of the information on the case, I don’t know specifics but I’m comfortable with our standard of livestock care and this doesn’t appear to be it.
Reis went on in his social media post to call for legislative action, perhaps including a bill making it illegal to enclose live animals with dead animals after a specific time; a bill creating a special category of warrant available to law enforcement to intervene on behalf of farm animals in cases of obvious neglect; a bill requiring all investigations of possible animal neglect or abuse to be automatically filed with the state veterinarian, instead of the current law which does not require local law enforcement to seek guidance from the state veterinarian; or a bill to invest the state’s Bureau of Animal Protection with power to intervene on behalf of suffering animals. He said it would be best do so through an act of the legislature but, failing legislative action, the issue could be addressed by running a ballot initiative.
I don’t accept the poor treatment of animals, but well-meaning legislation drafted and influenced by people who aren’t experts isn’t the answer. Shouting from the rooftops on social media isn’t the answer. Trespassing in the name of rescue and sanctuary isn’t the answer. Expecting law enforcement and the office of the state veterinarian to snap their fingers and resolve the situation to your satisfaction isn’t the answer.
I don’t know exactly what the answer is but any answer without the guidance of food animal veterinary practitioners is no answer at all.
This situation again illustrates the need for reasonable, knowledgeable people to be appointed to board and commissions, especially the Board of Veterinary Medicine. This situation also illustrates the need for law enforcement to have working relationships with producers, veterinarians, brand inspectors, and other experts in their jurisdictions.
With bills being drafted now, I hope reasonable voices will prevail.
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