Commissioners formalize opposition to Initiative 16
Published on April 21, 2021
During their Wednesday Board meeting, all five county commissioners voted unanimously to oppose Initiative 16, an initiative that seeks to criminalize accepted animal husbandry practices and irrevocably harm the agriculture industry in Colorado.
“Once again, rural Colorado is under attack by urbanites with no understanding of where their food comes from or how it is produced,” said Commissioner Chair Steve Moreno. “Anyone with basic farming and ranching knowledge understands the ridiculousness of this initiative and the damage it will cause not only livestock but also your domesticated pets.”
In the resolution read at the today’s meeting, the board outlined the dangers of this initiative, which if approved by the courts will be circulated for signatures to petition on to the 2022 ballot.
“This initiative, if passed, will economically damage livestock producers across the state by mandating not only how they care for their livestock but also dictating when they are allowed to sell their livestock,” Commissioner Perry Buck said.
The resolution further outlined that such an initiative would hurt farmers, ranchers, food processing workers and would put Colorado businesses at a distinct disadvantage by being subjected to this proposed government overreach.
“When people hear the spin on this initiative, it sounds good – who doesn’t want to end animal cruelty – however, the language being used to tug at voter’s heartstrings is hollow when you actually read the verbiage proposed and educate yourself on what it is really aiming to accomplish,” said Commissioner Pro-Tem Scott James.
Commissioner Mike Freeman added, “This initiative could even effectively ban agricultural heritage events across the state including rodeos, county fairs, horse shows – that’s how insidious this type of proposed legislation will be.”
The initiative, which passed the state’s title board review, will likely be appealed by several statewide ag groups. Signatures on the initiative can only be collected once the appeals have been heard and, if denied, the secretary of state assigns a proposing number for the 2022 ballot.
“We are imploring our neighbors to educate themselves, as well as their friends and families, on this issue,” said Commissioner Lori Saine. “Now more than ever, we need a public that is engaged and knowledgeable about the decisions others are trying to make to the detriment of our state.”
Read the resolution here.