Missouri Farmers Care applauds Gov. Jay Nixon for signing Senate Bill 631, a bill sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson that held many priorities for Missouri agriculture.

“Senate Bill 631 is a critical piece of legislation for Missouri agriculture,” says Missouri Farmers Care Chairman and Missouri Pork Association Executive Vice President Don  Nikodim.  “This bill both promotes and protects agriculture, the number one industry of our state.  We are pleased that Gov. Nixon and legislative leaders like Sen. Parson can cross party lines to do what's right.”

Among the components of Senate Bill 631 are a requirement that any videotape evidence of animal abuse be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours, enabling legislation allowing FFA chapters to form in private schools at no public expense, technical  changes to Missouri's Grain Dealer Law and changes to load limits on roadways that will benefit farmers.

“Requiring videotape evidence of animal abuse to be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours is an important step in the right direction,” says Missouri Cattlemen's Association President LonnyDuckworth.  “This is a common-sense law that is good for our animals and our farmers and ranchers.  If abuse does in fact occur, it needs to be dealt with immediately instead of being sensationalized months later as a fundraising tool for extremist animal rights groups like HSUS, PETA, and others.”

Sen. Mike Parson sponsored the bill and adds that “Missouri agriculture transcends party lines.  As a former law enforcement officer and a cattleman, I was proud to carry this legislation and I look forward to continue working on ways to protect and advance Missouri agriculture.”

Senate Bill 631 passed both chambers of the legislature by wide margins.  Handled in the House by Rep. Bill Reiboldt, Senate Bill 631 passed the Missouri House of  Representatives 127 to 19 and the Missouri Senate passed the bill 24 to 6.  The full bill text, summaries, and actions can be found at http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=92863.