So, I’m new to the animal/breeder Yahoo Groups scene, but I’ve been thankful to find some very active and knowledgeable people.
What has distressed me in recent weeks is how the information looping these groups doesn’t seem to get out of them– specifically the stories of animal seizures (no, not the brain kind; the stealing kind), intimidation of owners, threatening fines, along with warnings (or whinings) about legislation limiting breeders or changing language about animals.
Language is sort of my currency. I do fine distinctions all the time. When I heard that there’s a MD bill to change the language of “ownership” to that of “guardian” I just rolled my eyes and moved on.
But then I realized that what is owned is property, and currently both the 5th and 14th amendments assert (if not fully guarantee) that a person may not be deprived “of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
This could make what’s already happening more-legal. Currently, animal seizures violate the constitution, but if animals (for their own dignity, of course) were no longer property, there’s nothing to say why they wouldn’t be better off somewhere else.
This bill is scheduled for a hearing on March 1.
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My goal is to compile these cases as I learn more about them and to discuss trends or patterns.
I won’t say I’m not afraid of how big this all feels, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere else this is being brought together.
And if various concerned people can offer original sources and any statistics or lists of bills actively being pushed around the country, that will give me more to work with. Please email or comment with links to active bills, articles about bills passed or defeated, or even first-person (“It happened to me”) stories.