Protect the Harvest, an agriculture advocacy organization, is reporting that a bill aimed at restricting HSUS fundraising activities in Oklahoma has passed that state’s House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee with a unanimous vote.
Oklahoma State Representative Brian Renegar, a veterinarian, authored House Bill 2250. The bill would prohibit animal rights organizations from raising funds in Oklahoma and spending it in other states or on political action inside or outside Oklahoma.
HSUS fundraising activities in Oklahoma were the subject of a high-profile investigation by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Pruitt found that HSUS had employed deceptive fundraising practices by raising funds supposedly for the rescue of animals displaced after natural disasters, but then diverting those funds to other purposes such as lobbying.
According to Protect the Harvest’s website, Rep. Renegar wrote the bill to ensure that any funds raised by HSUS in Oklahoma will be used in the state to benefit animals and not for political purposes. That provision is particularly significant for Renegar.
In November this year, Oklahomans will vote on a state referendum to protect the “right to farm” in the state. The bill would protect the rights of farmers and ranchers against animal-rights driven initiatives to limit or end animal farming. HSUS has spent millions of dollars fighting similar proposals in other states.
Renegar told KSWO Radio, “Outside political interests will be coming into Oklahoma and spending many, many dollars fighting this.” If adopted, House Bill 2250 would prevent HSUS and other animal rights organizations from doing so in Oklahoma.