Idaho prides itself on its agricultural industry. Why would our Legislature want to pass, and our governor to sign, legislation that protects the industry from exposure of cruelty to animals? Is it because they think cruelty is acceptable? Is it because they are unduly influenced by agricultural producers whose commercial success depends on being permitted to operate outside of the bounds of decency? How is it in the interest of Idaho to permit and help cover up such practices? Don’t we want an agricultural industry that makes us proud and is a model for good practices?
And if our elected officials don’t care about animal cruelty or basic decency, concern for the Idaho economy should convince them that the bill is terrible public policy. If our Legislature passes it and our governor signs it, Idaho deserves every bit of commercial and consumer wrath that will undoubtedly result. Consumers will justifiably urge large corporate purchasers to shun Idaho dairy products, and will organize their own boycotts. Is this the face of Idaho agriculture that our elected officials really want to present to the world? A face that laughs with cruel glee when animals are abused? If yes, then God help us.
Bonnie Shuster, Boise