Mo. dog breeding vote 'wake-up call' for farmers

ALAN SCHER ZAGIER Associated Press Published:

MONROE CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A 2010 ballot initiative to toughen oversight of dog breeders highlighted the rift between Missouri farmers and national animal rights activists. Two years later, the divide has only deepened.

Twenty-five farm groups ranging from the Missouri Pork Association and the state Beef Industry Council to agribusiness heavyweights Cargill and Monsanto have united under the banner of Missouri Farmers Care.

Their target is the Humane Society of the United States, which pushed the 2010 dog breeding initiative that was largely overturned by lawmakers. It's now the primary financial backer of Your Vote Counts! -- a proposed state constitutional amendment requiring a three-fourths majority vote before the Legislature could override voter-approved laws.

Two-thirds of the $345,000 donated to the petition drive through 2011 came from HSUS.