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Are Animal-Welfare Officials Out of Control?

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Too many headlines warn of eye-tearing stories about animal abuse, but now some animal owners are claiming they’re the ones being abused—by animal-welfare officials. State Representative Wes McKinley, a Democrat from Walsh, presents a couple examples for consideration. One woman he knows was cited for animal cruelty because her horse had mud on its feet, and another person was cited because a cow was deemed 50 pounds underweight (via the Denver Post). So McKinley is sponsoring a bill that would change how animal-control officers operate, removing the ability of nongovernmental agencies to investigate claims of animal cruelty, giving sole responsibility to law-enforcement and animal-control agencies.

Moreover, nonprofits that care for injured animals would not be allowed to recover costs and may be required to return animals to owners deemed abusive unless the owner is convicted of animal cruelty. Animal rights activists and others are opposing the measure, including ColoradoPols blogger Progressive Cowgirl, who chides McKinley for what she considers a “giveaway to people who would like to abuse and neglect pets and/or livestock in the state of Colorado.”

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