A new television advertising campaign launched over the weekend warns Oklahomans about a proposed bill in the legislature to create a constitutional “right to farm.” The advertising campaign is the latest effort by The Humane Society of the United States to urge opposition to HJR 1012, the “Right to Farm” bill, which should be more aptly titled “Right to Harm.” If passed, the amendment would solidify the bad practices of industrial agriculture that harm family farmers, animal welfare, food safety and the environment.
The advertisement can be seen in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City markets and online.
Harlan Hentges, an attorney and agriculture professional, is a member of the HSUS Oklahoma Agriculture Council. His family has farmed in Noble County, Oklahoma, since prior to statehood. Hentges said: “This legislation only guarantees corporations a right to harm Oklahoma’s traditional family farm way of life, stopping us in the future from having virtually any reasonable safeguards to protect our drinking water, farm animals and rural neighbors.”
- The “Right to Farm” bill shields industrial agriculture from the democratic process. It would largely prevent voters and legislators from making reforms that would benefit food safety, animal welfare and the quality of our air and water. No other industry is given, or deserves, blanket protection from commonsense regulations.
- Oklahoma farmers and ranchers already have the right to farm as they have for generations.
- Large agribusiness corporations—including ones owned by foreign conglomerates—would benefit the most from this measure, as their contract producers would be unencumbered from many commonsense regulations about what they can do to Oklahoma’s land, air and water.
- Local groups that oppose the “Right to Farm” bill include: Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, Oklahoma Animal Welfare League, Oklahoma Coalition of Animal Rescuers, The Humane Society of Tulsa and Oklahoma Sierra Club.
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