In North Dakota, veterinarians, animal shelters and others who care for and about animals had found them-selves on opposing sides over Measure 5, which would not have applied to production agriculture or to lawful activities of hunters, trappers, licensed veterinarians or scientific researchers, or to people acting in defense of life or property.
North Dakota and South Dakota are the only states without a felony animal abuse penalty.
“We’re pleased that the North Dakota voters took a closer look at this, and we want to continue now to further the work on animal protection and do it the right way,” Jason Schmidt, a rancher in Kidder County and chairman of North Dakota Animal Stewards, which op-posed Measure 5, told Forum Communications.
Both sides spent heavily to sway voters on Measure 5, with campaign finance reports filed with the North Dakota secretary of state’s office totaling well more than $1 million by last week.
Much of the funding for the measure came from the Humane Society of the United States, which opponents sought to discredit as a radical organization.