Animal welfare teams might not have seen the outcomes they wished final Tuesday with Question 3, however they’re attempting to hold an open thoughts.
Groups that marketing campaign for animal rights in Maine publicly opposed the passing of the proper to meals amendment to the state structure, fearing that its imprecise language might open the door for justifying animal abuse. Now that the amendment has handed, advocates hope that every one Mainers can discover widespread floor concerning the humane treatment of animals.
“You worry about backyard butchering of animals and you worry about people disregarding the animal welfare rules about confinement of animals,” stated Beth Gallie, president of the Maine Animal Coalition, referencing eventualities some fear may come up after the passage of the amendment.
“You also worry about homesteaders deciding to have lots of animals and then not bringing themself to butcher them when it’s time in the late fall, and then maybe not being able to actually keep the pigs they want to keep.”
When the invoice handed with over 60 p.c of the vote, these teams — which embody Animal Rights Maine, the Maine Animal Coalition and Maine Friends of Animals — had been upset, however not stunned.
“It was expected,” stated Robert Fisk, Jr., founder and director of Maine Friends of Animals. “Our side just didn’t amass the necessary resources to conduct a campaign and deconstruct the amendment arguments.”
Fisk is a former Maine state legislator and is frightened about the impression of the imprecise language.
Gallie likened the wording of the amendment to saying “puppies are cute.”
“Of course, but what does that mean?” Gallie stated. “My question is what are they doing, what do they want. We need something to respond to.”
Gallie, who’s a lawyer by coaching, stated that she would have most popular that if there have been to be modifications in the legislation, it will be at the legislative degree in communities. For instance, meals sovereignty won’t look the identical in Portland because it does in rural areas of Maine.
She additionally identified the complexities of claiming the “right to save and exchange seeds” when seed patents are managed by federal legislation.
Now that the amendment is an element of the structure, although, what the amendment means in observe will likely be up to the Maine courts.
“This is virgin territory so we cannot predict what concerns will arise, but they will, and then the courts will unfortunately determine how this amendment is defined,” Fisk stated. “What can you do, except eventually point out the error [in] their ways and address it on a case by case basis, and that is a long path to engage.”
Gallie doesn’t anticipate to see many challenges arising simply but, although. The upcoming session of the legislature is a brief one, and she or he expects there will likely be extra meals sovereignty payments and subsequent court docket challenges in the common session in 2023.
But she is cautiously optimistic. Gallie hopes that individuals who each supported and opposed the amendment can discover widespread floor.
For instance, if the amendment winds up selling extra small farmers that deal with their animals humanely than giant industrial agriculture, she sees that as a very good factor.
“We’re disappointed but the voters have spoken and we have to hope for the best,” Gallie stated. “We’d like to know what’s next. If you love your state, you hope for the best. We will go forward and work with people.”