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The HSUS to Defer Ballot Initiative to Protect Dairy Cows from Abuse this Election Cycle

Wayne Pacelle, president of The Humane Society of the United States, HSUS Colorado state director Jacquelyn Pyun, Colorado dairy farmer Angela Smith, along with two members of The HSUS Agriculture Council for Colorado—chair Dr. Tom Parks, DVM, and cattle rancher Mike Callicrate—indicated they’ve decided against moving forward with a ballot measure this election cycle to prevent cruelty to dairy cows in Colorado, including the unnecessary and cruel practice of cutting off cows’ tails. 

Mike Callicrate said: “Even though polling shows that Colorado voters favor a ballot measure to protect dairy cows from abuses like tail docking by a three-to-one margin, we have decided against moving forward this election cycle. The Colorado Legislative Council and Title Board misconstrued our simple and straightforward language. Their action effectively runs out the clock for a refile of new language. We plan to launch a website to educate citizens, including livestock producers, about this abusive practice.”

Wayne Pacelle added: “The plan to have Colorado agriculture industry representatives conduct ongoing review of animal welfare issues—hatched in 2008 after the passage of a bill to phase out extreme confinement of breeding pigs and veal calves—has been a complete failure. Even though almost every dairy trade industry association and every major veterinary group opposes the unnecessary and inhumane practice of cutting off cows’ tails, this group could not muster the resolve to deal with this problem. We are not aware of any animal welfare improvements that this group has initiated. This leaves us with legislative or ballot initiatives as the only potential pathways for reform.”


Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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