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Letter: Decline to sign for Ballot Initiative 16

The Montezuma County Democratic Party’s Central Committee recently passed a resolution opposing proposed Initiative 16.

This citizen-initiated proposal would criminalize many widely-accepted animal husbandry and veterinary care practices, increase suffering of animals, destroy Colorado businesses and jobs, and eliminate locally produced, organically raised meat for Colorado consumers.

Although Initiative 16 purports to ensure humane treatment of animals, it does not. Instead, animals would spend up to five years grazing and living in feedlots, making them more vulnerable to diseases like mad cow and other health complications that come with old age. The meat produced by these older animals would be of lower quality. The domino effect would devastate related agricultural industries that raise feed for farm animals. Beef production would simply move out of state, along with $7.1 billion from the Colorado economy.

This is the direct economic impact, but the damage does not stop there. Agriculture is the lifeblood of Colorado’s rural communities, many of which would die without it. Farm-to-table markets for beef, pork and lamb would disappear.

As of April 17, Initiative 16 is opposed by diverse groups including the Colorado Cattlemen, Veterinary, Wool Growers, Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse, and Livestock Associations; Colorado Dairy Farmers; the Farm Bureau; and the Colorado Pork Producers Council.

Initiative 16 has dire consequences for everyone involved with raising animals in Colorado, will create more suffering for animals, and will kill jobs and communities. Voters are urged to decline to sign the petition that would place Initiative 16 on the ballot in 2022.

Mary Dodd, Chair, Montezuma County DemocratsCortez