Hunting groups call for more accuracy in IP 13 ballot title

Several pro-hunting conservation organizations have challenged the draft language of the ballot title and summary for Initiative Petition 13, which they contend do not adequately convey the initiative’s devastating impact to legal hunting, fishing and trapping. The groups have submitted comments to the Oregon Attorney General’s office requesting clarification to the initiative’s draft ballot language.  

The organizations, which include the Oregon Hunters Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wild Sheep Foundation, Oregon Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Oregon Trappers Association, Sportsmen’s Alliance and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, also assert that the draft ballot title inappropriately uses the term “prohibits” rather than “criminalizes,” which they believe is more accurate.

IP 13 would criminalize killing an animal for any reason other than an immediate act of self-defense.

It would criminalize good animal husbandry practices, animal breeding of both livestock and pets, training techniques and even pest control.

In keeping with the “no kill” directive, it would also criminalize any livestock slaughter practices, with the proponents stating that meat consumption would still be allowed from animals that have died of old age.

IP 13 effectively would outlaw a self-sufficient lifestyle, according to Oregon Hunters Association outreach coordinator Amy Patrick.

“Under this initiative, it would be illegal to put a deer in the freezer, catch fish or raise animals to offset a family’s grocery bill,” Patrick said. “While it prevents Oregonians from securing their own naturally raised or harvested food, it does not prohibit grocery stores from carrying animal proteins, meaning those items would be imported from states that do not have such outrageous regulations, effectively creating even more distance between Oregon families and their food.”

Patrick said IP 13 would impact Oregonians who want to ensure natural, local food sources for their families through hunting, fishing, trapping or raising their own livestock.  

“I have cattle in my pasture, chickens in my coop, my husband hunts, and I like to fly fish,” she said. “IP 13 would make us criminals for our attempts to control our food sources and be less reliant on the mainstream food network.”

If the initiative language is certified by the AG’s office, the proponents will have until June 2022 to collect the more than 112,000 signatures required to place it on the November 2022 general election ballot.

The groups challenging the draft ballot language have stated that they will not rule out legal action if the current language is upheld.

“We will use all available avenues and resources to defeat this initiative,” Patrick said. “Too many Oregonians have too much at stake.”

OHA (www.oregonhunters.org) is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 26 chapters statewide. Its mission is “protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and heritage.”

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