Special interest legislation threatens Oklahoma’s food supply

April 15, 2010

Dear Editor:

I once thought of The Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OFB) as an organization actively working to make a positive effect.  However, I have been saddened by OFB’s distortion of the truth on an issue that is being pushed by a heavily funded, out-of-state interest group.

Instead of listening to its members, OFB decided to partner with big money out-of-state interests to lobby for House Bill 3202, commonly called “the tooth floating bill.”

This bill allows you or your employee to do anything you want, as long as it is humane to your livestock.   

Anything. If you can do lung transplants humanely, you can do them all day long, providing you own the animal. You can do a long list of other procedures including dehorning, injecting, artificial insemination, and many others for a fee.

OFB and their out-of-state buddies are pushing for a wide-open practice act that would allow all kinds of reproductive research. These include cloning and unlimited possession and use of drugs in animals without any accountability. Because of this, veterinarians were forced to oppose this legislation. This bill was never about teeth and horses, but about reproduction.

The legislature played a shell-game with the Bureau of Narcotics to sell this bill. They created confusion about prescription drugs vs. narcotics. In fact, prescription drugs like propofol killed Michael Jackson. Drugs like Lutalyse, which we use every day for animal reproduction, have been used for performing illegal abortions in women. Horse tranquilizers have been used for date rape.

Drugs can leave residues, or chemicals that are left behind in the tissues and milk of animals. Veterinarians are trained in the use and administration of these drugs, and we train (and retrain) our clients to properly administer these drugs so that these residues do not end up in the food supply.

H.B. 3202 would make it legal for anyone to obtain these drugs from anywhere, and transport. Individuals could also administer these drugs and not be held accountable if residues were to end up in food products.

OFB has claims to support agriculture and “family farms,” yet both have dwindled greatly. I must question whether or not they truly understand the needs of those they claim to represent.

I hope Governor Henry will do the right thing and Veto H.B. 3202.

Jeff Hammond

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Marlow, Oklahoma

Editor’s Note: Dr. Hammond has been a Member of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau for 23 years.

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