Proposal to Protect Maine Farm Animals Likely to Fail

Mar 8, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine - A proposal designed to protect farm animals in Maine from animal cruelty appears likely to fail.
 
Ellsworth attorney and animal welfare advocate Christina Perkins made the proposal. She wants to remove a clause from state law that allows farmers to use adherence to best management practices as a defense against charges of animal cruelty.
 
Perkins says the law should be changed because animals should be treated the same way whether they are kept on a farm, in a shelter or in someone's backyard. But the Legislature's agriculture committee gave the proposal a chilly reception on Feb. 28, with the panel voting against passage.
 
Dairy farmers in the state oppose the law change. They say best management practices exist to protect the welfare of animals, and not to shield farmers.