The Humane Society of the United States has received approval by the Missouri Secretary of State's office for the wording on its petition for a ballot initiative intended to crack down on shady dog breeders in Missouri. The animal rights organization may now begin circulating the petition for signatures.
For an initiative petition changing state law to be placed on the ballot, signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to 5% of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in six of Missouri's nine congressional districts. For 2010, that amounts to just under 100,000 signatures.
Although the initiative is aimed at dog breeders, many agriculture executives interpret the effort as a first step toward putting restrictions on livestock operations in the state. The organization had success a year ago in California with Proposition 2, but did not succeed in passing similar animal treatment measures in Ohio earlier this year.