CFAC UPDATE: Agriculture Coalition Applauds Initiative 16 Ruling

Colorado Supreme Court Unanimously Rules The Measure Doesn’t Meet Single Subject Requirement

Coloradans for Animal Care praised the Colorado Supreme Court for their 7-0 ruling against Initiative 16, determining it did not meet the single subject requirements for a citizen ballot initiative. 

“We thank the Supreme Court for their unanimous decision. Dairy production and livestock agriculture is critical to Colorado,” says Chris Kraft, chair of the board of Colorado Dairy Farmers. “We appreciate the decision and we appreciate those citizens of Colorado who followed our coalition and stood with us in support of our dairy producers and all farmers and ranchers.”

Coloradans for Animal Care is a coalition of state agriculture leaders and their organizations have formed to oppose Initiative 16, a recently 2022 ballot initiative that would ask voters to criminalize commonly accepted veterinary and animal care practices in Colorado. It would also ban the slaughter of livestock that have not yet lived more than one-quarter of their anticipated lifetime, a standard far longer than consumer and foreign markets demand.  

“The Colorado Wool Growers Association would like to thank our members and allied organizations at Coloradans for Animal Care that made this successful legal challenge possible,” said Bonnie Brown, executive director of the Colorado Woolgrowers Association. “Colorado’s farmers and ranchers produce high-quality food and fiber, and will continue to adhere to best management practices to provide humane care for our animals.”

The coalition challenged the Title Board’s ruling to approve the Initiative for signature collection, claiming it addressed multiple subjects and included inflammatory language. After losing the Title Board challenge, the group appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. 

“The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association appreciates and agrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling that Initiative 16 covered multiple subjects and should not advance to the ballot,” says Janie VanWinkle, president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. “We appreciate the coalition and statewide support in opposing this measure. It would take away consumer choice and in the process hurt our environment, economy and the very animals the proponents claimed they wanted to protect.”

“The Colorado Livestock Association is pleased with the unanimous Supreme Court decision which denies the proponents ability to move forward with Initiative 16. This is the right result for all of Colorado,” celebrated Dwain Weinrich, president of the Colorado Livestock Association.

If the proponents wish to continue pursuing the measure, they will have to rewrite and file another title with the Title Board, beginning the process again. Any signatures that were collected are now void. 

“This sends a strong message to the supporters of this measure and anyone else who is interested in a responsible ballot initiative process,” said Carlyle Currier, a rancher from Molina and president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “This process has been abused for far too long, and this is yet another reminder that ambiguous language, bait-and-switch tactics, and attempts to conceal the real-world results of ballot initiatives are bad for our state and will not be allowed to stand.”

Coloradans for Animal Care was created to support any initiative that would protect safe, commonly accepted animal care practices and oppose any initiative that would lessen animal care. The coalition will continue to defend the agriculture industry from extreme measures like this one, whether it comes from these proponents or others. Support for the coalition grew throughout the challenge process and is expected to continue growing if other initiatives are filed.

For more information visit: www.ColoradansforAnimalCare.com.

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.