A blow was struck this week on behalf of livestock farmers all over the state of Illinois when SB1337 was directed into the ag subcommittee on animal welfare. As Farm Bureau’s Bart Bittner describes, it’s the place where bills of its kind go to die.
That sends a strong message to the animal rights activists: we’re not buying your kind of crazy here in Illinois! Just because it worked in California, doesn’t mean it’ll float in Illinois. Sure, 2/3 of our legislators come from Cook and collar counties, but there’s a whole lot of folks downstate who have enough commonsense to protect our food source.
Bittner says Farm Sanctuary was behind the bill, which was loosely known as the tethering bill. The actual text of SB1337, which sought to amend the Humane Care for Animals Act:
Prohibits a person from tethering or confining any covered animal, on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents the animal from (i) lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs or (ii) turning around freely. Creates exemptions from this requirement for (i) scientific or agricultural research; (ii) examination, testing, individual treatment, or operation for veterinary purposes; (iii) transportation; and (iv) rodeo exhibitions, State or county fair exhibitions, 4-H programs, and similar exhibitions. Provides that any person who violates this requirement is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $500, or by imprisonment not to exceed 180 days, or both.
The bill died this time around, but as Bittner points out, nothing ever dies in Springfield. They’ll be back.
But Illinois agriculture sent a strong message with this one: if you’re going to bring anti-ag legislature into Springfield, we’re going to deal with you.
Keep it up, folks. Keep telling your urban friends what you do for your livestock. Keep adopting urban legislators. Keep up the fight. We won this one, but they’ll be back for another round.
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