Argue The Facts, Not Fiction

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Editor:

It is a shame that some of your readers often believe Raymond Spatti actually knows what he’s talking about. Here are some facts to set the record straight about HB2587:

• “The ASPCA condemns Barton’s “legislation bill ...”

This quote is patently false, the ASPCA did not register any position on HB2587 in Committee.

• “The Arizona Humane Society opposes that Barton bill ...”

Spatti has, as usual, not kept up to date; the AHS no longer opposes the bill but has been in active negotiations with myself and the other stakeholders.

• “Her bill strips local and state police officers of the authority to investigate animal cruelty complaints involving horses and farm animals.”

Again, another false statement about the bill. The law enforcement community supports HB2587 as I amended based on stakeholder inputs. As the bill stands, local law enforcement may serve essentially as first responders in reported cases of animal cruelty.

• “Pretending to create a quick response to cruelty, Barton’s legislation requires that evidence of cruelty be given to authorities within five days of discovering it ... This ruse makes it impossible for responsible citizens to properly document evidence of extreme cruelty on factory farms.”

First, during negotiations with the AHS, and at their insistence, the language containing the five-day requirement to report abuse was removed from the bill. Second, Spatti again hasn’t done his homework, we have no “factory farms” in Arizona. Thirdly, shouldn’t investigation and documentation of animal cruelty be left to law enforcement professionals and agricultural enforcement professionals working together? And last, the penalties have been increased to criminal felony status. What surprises me most of all, is the fact that the AHS insisted that the five-day period within which to report animal cruelty or abuse be removed from the language of the bill. I do not understand how allowing an animal to suffer more than five days is humane to any animal.

“... the impetus for the bill came from a national organization that is funded by the radical Republican multi-billionaire Koch brothers.”

This quote sounds like one of the finest conspiracy theories I’ve heard lately. The actual initial impetus for this bill, came in fact from the Arizona Cattlegrowers’ Association.

What Spatti chose not to tell your readers is that “animal hoarding” has now been defined in HB2587 as animal cruelty subject to criminal penalties and mental health evaluation.

Perhaps the “animal waste,” Raymond Spatti is referring to is that which he is dishing up? Maybe next time he should try actually reading the bill as it will be presented on the House floor for approval. Just say’n ...

Representative Brenda Barton, Arizona House of Representatives

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