Dairy cow licking lipsA ballot measure in Colorado is fueling speculation that animal husbandry practices like artificial insemination — a mainstay on many dairy and beef cow/calf operations — could become illegal. Like a similar initiative in Oregon, the Colorado measure would classify some common livestock production practices as “cruelty to animals,” thereby criminalizing their use. These include calving assistance and artificial insemination in addition to potentially the spaying and neutering of pets like cats and dogs. Livestock industry leaders are wary of the procedure of passing such measures, essentially being able to bypass state legislatures and enabling groups like animal rights activists to enter the conversation around key livestock production practices. In Colorado, a group of agriculture organizations has joined forces to share information and work to oppose the ballot proposal. See more on the issue.