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Ballot Measures


The Humane Society Legislative Fund, along with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection groups, recognizes the usefullness of the ballot measure and ballot initiative process in states that allow them. Sometimes the animal protection movement can effectively utilize the ballot measure process to mobilize citizens to protect animals from the industries that seek to profit from animal abuse.

Since 1990, there has been a proliferation of animal protection initiatives, largely spearheaded by the organizing efforts of The Humane Society of the United States, The Fund for Animals, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund. We approach the initiatives in a highly professional manner; carefully identifying issues in demographically favorable states, organizing volunteer petitioners, conducting public attitude surveys, raising money, and persuading voters.

Between 1990 and 2010, animal protection advocates squared off against factory farmers, trophy hunters, and other animal-use industries in 44 statewide ballot measure campaigns, winning 30 campaigns—a 69% success rate. The animal protection movement has had great success in carefully selecting and winning initiative and referendum campaigns on behalf of animals. Unfortunately, anti-animal industries that profit from the inhumane treatment of animals have tried, sometimes successfully, to deny access to the initiative process. Fortunately, The HSUS, HSLF and other groups have largely been successful in defeating these counter-measures and will continue to be diligent in our efforts to safeguard the process, propose animal protection initiatives and referenda, and stop the animal-use industries’ attempts at overturning our efforts.

Current Ballot Measures

Citizens for Farm Animal Protection is a grassroots campaign working to prevent cruelty to veal calves, egg-laying hens and pigs by putting a measure on the November 2016 Massachusetts's ballot. These animals are crammed into cages so small they can't turn around or extend their limbs. This practice is abusive and increases the risk of food safety problems, like Salmonella.

A YES! vote will prevent farm animals from being crammed into cages so small they can’t even turn around or extend their limbs. A YES! vote will also ensure that certain food items sold in the Commonwealth are compliant with these modest standards. Major companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Walmart and McDonald’s are already making similar improvements.

Citizens for Farm Animal Protection is a broad coalition of non-profit organizations, farmers and businesses, community leaders, and grassroots activists dedicated to enacting a ballot measure to ban the cruel confinement of farm animals.

Save Endangered Animals Oregon is a grassroots campaign working to save 12 highly-trafficked wild animal types from poaching, cruelty, and the threat of extinction by putting a measure on the November 2016 ballot. We must act now to save our endangered animals.

From elephants to sea turtles, many iconic species face the threat of extinction due to demand for their parts including market demand in Oregon. In November 2016, Oregonians will have an opportunity to vote on a ballot measure to protect these imperiled species. Specifically, the ballot measure will prohibit the sale of products and parts from sea turtles, sharks, rays, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, and other critically threatened or endangered species.

The ballot measure proposes to prohibit the purchase, sale, offer for sale, or possession with intention to sell any part or product of the covered animal species with reasonable, narrow exemptions. The 12 types of animal covered animal are elephant, rhinoceros, whale, tiger, lion, leopard, cheetah, jaguar, pangolin, sea turtle and shark and ray species. The measure tracks a similar initiative on the ballot in Washington state, led by Portland Trailblazers’ owner Paul Allen. California enacted a ban in October 2015 on trade in ivory or rhino horn. If Oregon voters approve this initiative petition, we will have produced a firewall against wildlife trafficking in key West Coast states.