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January 3, 2013

Legislation Filed to Protect Missourians' Right to Hunt, Fish and Farm

JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Jason Smith pre-filed a constitutional amendment today to protect the right of Missourians to hunt, fish and farm. This amendment comes in the wake of a recent regulatory movement, spear-headed by career bureaucrats and Washington DC special interests, to force state agencies to implement regulations reducing the ability of citizens to hunt, fish and farm.

"While Missouri state agencies can create rules to restrict our ability to hunt, fish and farm, these rules have to comply with our constitution," said Smith, R-Salem. "One way to ensure out-of-state special interests don't pass rules restricting the number of cows that a rancher can own, or pass rules making it illegal to hunt deer, is to protect the right to hunt, fish and farm in our state's constitution."

Smith's proposal is very similar to a constitutional amendment that recently passed in North Dakota. There, outside special interest groups representing vegan and animal rights activists poured millions of dollars into a ballot measure designed to alter that state's animal laws. Smith's amendment is seen as a firewall, protecting Missouri from these outside groups.

"This amendment will preserve Missourians' choices at the supermarket and enshrine our long-held traditions of agriculture, hunting and fishing. Consumers and producers alike deserve the right to raise and consume the food of their choice without interference from big-money special interests and out-of-touch bureaucrats."

The constitutional amendment has been co-sponsored by more than 30 of Smith's colleagues including House Speaker Tim Jones.

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