Don't Ban Responsible Exotic Animal Owners
Speech Opposing Oregon Anti Exotic Animal Bill SB 391 by Kat Malstead, May 2009
Thank you for hearing me today. My name is Kat Malstead.
Owner of Wolfdancer Creek Farm
Member Wolfdog Rescue Resources
Board Member of National Wolfdog Alliance
Member Phoenix Exotics Inc
Member Rexano, Inc
Contributor of Wolfdogs Magazine, Inc
Registered and Active Voter
Registered Member of Certified Naturally Grown, Inc
Member Estacada Garden Club
I am speaking here today in opposition to
SB391. I have been told that there
are many people that have spoken to this legislation in support of SB391. In
my many letters of opposition to this very poorly conceived Bill, I have
been told that I needn't worry, that wolfdogs are not on the list of banned
species. They are, as they should be, listed as Canis Lupus Familiaris.
However, even though I have voiced my opposition in every manner that I can
without jumping up and down in rage, even though I have hand carried copies
of the Humane Society's true goal in the 2005 legislative session, even
though I, and many other law-abiding animal lovers have repeatedly pled for
our rights of responsible private animal ownership, I now stand here before
you with my heart in my throat, terrified, and I think of Clergyman Martin
Niemoller's famous speech:
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
Amongst the arguments in support of this Bill are concerns for the publics' safety and health. I would like to ask this Legislation where responsible private owners of ANY animal puts the public at risk. If there is a problem at all, it lies with the fact that the Common Sense Laws that Oregon currently abides by are being laid to the wayside. It lies with IRRESPONSIBLE animal owners. So why are we attempting to legislate & punitively punish ALL animal owners???? Is it just because we so-called "exotic" animal owners are "different"? Isn't that prejudicial in nature??
I lost an endangered domestic duck, one of my nesting females, the other day to a neighbor dog's attack while running at large. Why do we not enforce our current excellent laws rather than effectively banning animal ownership? It wasn't my neighbor's Lion or Tiger who killed my duck, it was my irresponsible neighbor who let his pet run loose.
The people who sponsored these Bills, the Humane Society of the United States, have stated in plain English that their ultimate goal is the abolishment of animal ownership. This is an Animal Rights organization. They are NOT an Animal WELFARE organization. Let me reiterate: HSUS' goal is to abolish all animal ownership. In their own words:
“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993."
HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California veal processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.” That same year, Goodwin was arrested at a UC Davis protest celebrating the 10-year anniversary of an ALF arson at the university that caused $5 million in damage. And in 1998, Goodwin described himself publicly as a “former member of ALF.”
HSUS president Wayne Pacelle described some of his goals in 2004 for The Washington Post: “We will see the end of wild animals in circus acts … [and we’re] phasing out animals used in research. Hunting? I think you will see a steady decline in numbers.” More recently, in a June 2005 interview, Pacelle told Satya magazine that HSUS is working on “a guide to vegetarian eating, to really make the case for it.” A strict vegan himself, Pacelle added: “Reducing meat consumption can be a tremendous benefit to animals.”
And HSUS won’t stop at initiatives aimed at livestock farmers and trappers. At the 1996 HSUS annual meeting, Wayne Pacelle announced that the ballot initiative would be used for all manner of legislation in the future, including “companion animal issues and laboratory animal issues.” Pacelle has personally been involved in at least 22 such campaigns, 17 of which HSUS scored as victories. These operations, he said, “pay dividends and serve as a training ground for activists.”
Can you see why we responsible animal owners feel betrayed by these kinds of laws? I Voted for you under the expectation that you would represent my interests. That you would at least listen to your CITIZENRY. Instead, I feel as if the only voices you are hearing are those of a well-funded political Lobbyist group bent on creating panic and fear where there is no cause, and on exterminating pets. I feel as if we are reacting in a knee-jerk manner to a invented situation.
I have no doubts in my heart that each and every one of you are attempting to do your very best to protect animals, and to protect the public's safety and health. But I believe you are being manipulated by a very slick and extremely well-financed organization bent on impinging on MY and other RESPONSIBLE animal owners' Constitutionally guaranteed Rights to Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness. I have no children due to a medical mishap where I lost my only daughter. My animals are all I will ever be granted to nurture. The HSUS would deny me this, saying that if I "need" to nurture, I should nurture my own species.
According to Animal Legal Defense Fund, Oregon has some of the toughest animal abuse laws on the books. Upon light research, the Oregon regulations already in place are quite inclusive and cover all contingencies. The Law as it stands reads: Pursuant to 609.309 Policy on exotic animals. (see OR ST § 609.205 - 609.335 Oregon Department of Agriculture) "It is the policy of this state that the keeping of exotic animals be regulated so as to ensure the health, welfare and safety of those animals and to ensure the security of facilities in which they are kept, so as to avoid undue physical or financial risk to the public. It is the policy of this state that regulation place no more burden upon the keepers of exotic animals than is required to accomplish the purposes expressed in this section." [1985 c.437 §1; 1999 c.699 §4] Oregon's private owner base is peopled with dedicated & responsible persons, who are already regulated by common sense laws. Oregon law even includes a very common sense dangerous/nuisance dog law. http://tinyurl.com/6j7v8 (see Oregon Statute Title 48, Chapter 609 Citation: OR ST § 609.010 - OR ST § 609.994)
In summary, Oregon does not have a problem with exotic animals running at large. We are an independant State with a rich history of Common Sense. I BEG you to oppose these kinds of Ban Laws. They are NOT in the best interests of animals, or of your constituents. They only serve the political aims of the Animal Rights movement, not of Oregon citizenry. Please, enforce our current excellent laws. I beg you again, PLEASE allow the people who are trustworthy the opportunity to succeed.
Copyright © Kat Malstead