Colorado Supreme Court Blocks Livestock Measure


The Supreme Court in Colorado blocked a statewide ballot initiative that would have expanded animal cruelty regulations from appearing on the November 2022 ballot. The Supreme Court says the initiative advances two subjects in its language, violating the state’s single-subject requirement for state statutes.  says the proposed ballot measure is called Initiative 16 and would impose new restrictions on animal husbandry that required ranchers to wait at least one-quarter of an animal’s life before sending it to slaughter. Ranchers in violation of the measure may have been charged with a crime. The measure would also have expanded the statutory definition of animal cruelty to include artificial insemination and other penetrations, “however slight.” The court says that the two subjects invite a “potential for the very kind of surprise that the single-subject requirement seeks to guard against.” Voters may not understand that what is called a livestock initiative would also affect the care of all animals or vice versa. Initiative 16 was approved by the state’s Title Board in late April and immediately drew the wrath of rural communities and the state’s agricultural community.