As a veterinarian, I’ve spent my entire career caring for the health and wellness of animals. I’ve seen firsthand how farmers, horse breeders and pet owners care for their animals. I’ve also seen firsthand the impact of neglect and abuse on animals. This November, I plan to vote no on Amendment 13.
Amendment 13 is a Trojan Horse. While it appears to be an amendment to simply end dog racing, the fine print you won’t see on the ballot could have devastating consequences on Florida’s family farms.
Activists behind the amendment have openly declared their desire to remove meat, dairy and eggs from our diets. These same activists have said they are on a mission to end hunting everywhere. And they’re making progress. Animal rights activists have passed 30 measures through Congress and more than 1,100 regulations in the states.
Now, their target is Florida.
Amendment 13 declares “the humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida.” This type of vague, undefined declaration in Florida’s Constitution will be exploited by activist groups to bring lawsuits against family farms, equine enthusiasts and sportsmen.
Their efforts to end animal agriculture will devastate the family businesses that produce the food we feed our own families. We’ll be forced to import more food from countries that have lesser standards for the care of their animals. With businesses forced to close and higher prices at the supermarket, Florida’s economy will take a hit.
Don’t let this Trojan Horse find its way into Florida’s Constitution. A “No” on 13 is a vote against extreme activists with hidden agendas.
Dr. Liz Steele is a veterinarian in Zolfo Springs, a member of the Florida Farm Bureau and a member of the executive committee for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.