Missouri bill would limit scope of animal rights

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article
The audio player requires a newer version of Flash to play this clip. Please update your version of Flash by clicking below.
Get Adobe Flash player
The audio player requires a newer version of Flash to play this clip. Please update your version of Flash by clicking below.
Get Adobe Flash player

Missouri state representative Ward Franz has introduced a bill, HB 1513, that would prevent future legislation granting rights to animals similar to those for humans. Specifically, the proposed bill states:

“The laws of this state shall not confer upon any animal a right, privilege, or legal status that is equivalent or that exceeds a right, privilege, or legal status as that which this state confers by law upon a human being. This provision shall not be construed as limiting laws that protect the welfare of animals in the state.”

In an interview on AgriTalk radio this week, Franz says the idea came about after he watched outside animal-rights organizations coming into the state trying to impose their will on Missouri’s people and businesses. In particular, he cites the case of “Proposition B,” the Missouri ballot initiative to regulate dog breeders that passed in November 2010 with aggressive support from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Franz also cites the lawsuit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed against SeaWorld in San Diego, claiming that orca whales at the facility should be protected by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that bans slavery and involuntary servitude. A U.S. district judge threw out that case, but Franz believes it is conceivable that groups could file suits against farmers or pursue legislation granting human-like rights to livestock, leading to claims that livestock are unjustly detained on farms.

Franz says he wants to be proactive in protecting the number-one revenue producer in Missouri, which is agriculture. “With the climate in our country,” he says, “it’s getting kind of scary for people who put their careers on the line trying to make a living in agriculture.

Franz also stresses that the bill would not weaken any existing animal-welfare laws, encourage or allow abuse of animals.

While he believes proactive legislation of this type is necessary, Franz acknowledges these issues sometimes seem to push the limits of reality. “It’s ridiculous that we have to be at this point. Growing up on the farm and raising cattle like we were, I never dreamed we would have to have a discussion on (whether) animals have equal or more rights as a human.”

Franz says he has received positive support for the bill, both within the Missouri legislature and from around the state and country. He expects it to move smoothly through the state House and Senate, although animal-rights proponents have begun mounting some opposition.

Comments (23) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

earth  |  March, 09, 2012 at 07:33 AM

Ah Ward Franz, someone believes that what he knows and thinks should apply to everyone and for all time. It is nice to know Missouri produces such profound and serious thinkers. Why he would have had a busy time if he had been a legislator in Georgia in 1850...trying to ensure slavery for all time. Mr. Franz might want to consider the fact that as humans exist for longer periods of time they sometimes come to understand the world and life a little better. Has Mr. Franz forgotten that human women used to be considered property too? Or is it that Mr. Franz thinks that too should still be true? Ah Mr. Franz, how limited and foolish you show yourself to be.

Kenny Hill    
Montana  |  March, 09, 2012 at 08:51 AM

Thanks Ward Franz, Good for the people of Missouri,every state need legislation similar to HB 1513, to protect the agriculture industry from animal rights groups.

Colo  |  March, 09, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Fortunately, HSUS, and their ilk, are running into similar brick walls in other states. Any "charity" that donates more to the retirement fund of the CEOs rather than the animals it supposedly rescues should be treated for exactly what it is - a scam.

Ron Treatise    
Alabama  |  March, 09, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Ward Franz studied religion and church recreation in college, and recently offered a prize of an AR-15 M4 carbine assault rifle at his political fundraiser. He has no background in ethics, bioethics, public policy or law, but why should the great state of Missouri let that hinder his ability to make laws? He’s a God-fearin’, gun-lovin’ good ol’ boy. When plunder becomes a way of life for men (and women) living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it. – Frederic Bastiat

USA  |  March, 09, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Thankfully, abstention from consuming animal products is not illegal, so I will continue to vigorous abstain and encourage others to do the same.

ohio  |  March, 09, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Zorro, you are absolutely right...your CHOICE to not eat meat is perfectly legal and always will be. The problem lies in the fact that many who promote the vegan lyfestyle want to force their belief system on the general public. It has nothing to do with promoting good animal welfare. I eat meat, but you don't have to...and just because you don't doesn't mean that I should have to live off of lettuce.

wise to HSUS    
Colorado  |  March, 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM

Well Vaganelder, I was certainly swayed by all the facts you stated. It was extremely convincing made more so by the fact you didn't stoop to the low level of tactics often employed by those on the left, such as name calling or rediculus comparisons. Ooops, sorry I just re-read your statements, my bad. You certainly did use those means. Thanks for sticking to the facts and not get into the weeds.

Ronnie Dail    
Washington  |  March, 10, 2012 at 06:06 AM

Bea, If animals should have rights superior to people then to be consistent with yourself (I am not going to hold my breath) you should advocate rights superior to people for plants as well. Since we all know that plants react to external stimuli they must feel pain as well. And therefore you starve to death!

HSUS Stinks on Ice    
Massachusetts  |  March, 09, 2012 at 03:47 PM

FANTASTIC that people like this Missouri legislator are finally doing SOMETHING to curtail the Nazi-like tactics of animal-rights nutjobs!! Watching AR's use their subtle character-assassination to, for instance, eliminate purebred dogs, has been a horror show. AR's *HAVE* to be stopped!! Hey, veganelder, eat some meat, QUICK... it's obvious your brain cells are attriting from lack of quality food.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  March, 09, 2012 at 07:44 PM

Blood, bone, gristle, tendons, veins, cancers, tumors, pain, fear, death - Not to mention a hefty dose of drugs --- This is what you call "quality food"? What a joke!

Alaska  |  March, 10, 2012 at 06:39 AM

Texas just passed a law sponsored by these same outside animal rights groups that establishes crippling restrictions on breeders of cats and dogs. The rules are absurd, with such things as counting every female kitten or puppy regardless of age as a breedable female, same with the males, thereby forcing nearly every in-home family breeder with a couple of females and a male into the commercial breeder category. That will force them into separate commercial-quality kitchens for animal feed, cages for every adult (all of which have to be plastic-coated wire, which I've never even seen), and a host of other outrageously expensive and unnecessary actions. Their stated purpose was to regulate puppy and kitten mills, but their organizations' objectives include freeing all so-called companion animals from slavery. People, we need to get active and propose and pass laws like the Franz law in every remaining state. We need to protect agriculture, protect the many high quality small businesses breeding cats, dogs, even backyard horses, goats, etc. I'll get plenty of hate messages from this, but I don't care about them. The message is for you whose livelihood can be destroyed.

ks  |  March, 10, 2012 at 07:57 AM

In a country that allows for the slaughter of human babies I believe that PETA has it's place . There are a lot of us PETA folks,(people whom eat tasty animals ) that can read Gods will and know that it is right to use what God has given us for all time as food and feel that it part of the dominion over those animals we were granted by him.

March, 10, 2012 at 08:03 AM

Veganelder, Human women are still considered property. Look at the muslim world and you will see that women are far beneath animals. I really think the fool is in the mirror when you look in it.

Sapient Hetero    
March, 10, 2012 at 09:08 AM

PETA, HSUS and related groups should be designated as domestic terrorist organizations, their assets seized and their leaders jailed. America can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to left-wing political agitators who are destroying our country with baseless lawsuits that consume the resources of those who must defend against them. Posing as advocates for animals, these organizations' true agendas are more accurately described as "anti-human" than "pro-animal".

March, 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Veganelder, Women are still considered property in some parts of the world. I think the foolish one is the one looking at you when you look in a mirror.

March, 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM

To Ron Treatise, why didn't you find fault and inlcude information about the 115 other Missouri House members that voted with Franz? If his movtives were so wrong, why did so many other legislators vote with him? And why didn't you detail all of the wonderful things done by the 33 legislators that voted against the bill Franz presented? By the way, thanks for the notice that Franz gives away firearms at his fundraisers. I didn't know that. Now that I know, I'm more likely to attend and donate. Sometimes, you animal rights activists are (very unintentionally) the best friend a conservative pollitician can have.

September, 16, 2012 at 07:01 AM

Veganelder, wake up, women are still regulated to less than animal status in Muslim countries. Do you not cry as a carrot is ripped from the soil where it had made its home, or when a leaf is excised from a lettuce plant? How hard hearted can you be to consume these poor creatures created by God? In an honest country HSUS would be put out of business, and the crooks running it put in jail.

RANGER® Diesel, Sportsman® ATV Series

The Polaris Ranger Diesel sets new standards in terms of efficiency. With its efficient diesel engine, the vehicle is up ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight