Laws passed by legislators and voters can have tremendous far-reaching effect on animals, on either a positive or negative basis. For that reason, ADLA has always maintained an active campaign on state legislative issues. ADLA volunteer lobbyists track bills through the Arizona Legislature and inform animal advocates about measures that affect animals, including bills that target the citizen initiative process, which is our most important tool for protecting animals.
ADLA volunteers have worked to build coalitions with other animal protection organizations, conservation groups, animal shelters, government agencies, and others to help ensure a comprehensive approach to legislation. With limited resources ADLA and its partners strive to pass beneficial laws and prevent bad bills from becoming law.
Arizona citizens care deeply about animals and have a long track record of voting for animal protection laws. However, many lawmakers do not share that sentiment. Sometimes it is virtually impossible to get animal protection bills through the legislature. Fortunately Arizona has a public initiative process where citizens can take issues directly to the public. For example, after forty years of failed legislative attempts to ban cockfighting, ADLA volunteers helped place the measure on the 1998 ballot, where it passed by a landslide vote. ADLA has been involved in several other ballot measure campaigns including the following:
2010: ADLA, the Arizona Sierra Club, and the Humane Society of the US defeated a constitutional ‘right to hunt’ ballot referendum that would have given sole authority over wildlife policy to the state legislature, and could have nullified the ban on traps and poisons on public lands.
2008: ADLA was a member of a coalition that defeated a ballot measure that would have killed the citizen initiative process. Voters defeated this deceptive measure by a landslide margin of 66% - 34%.
2006: ADLA was a supporting organization of the citizen initiative that banned the cruel confinement of pregnant pigs and veal calves. Arizona voters passed this measure by a 62% to 38% margin.
2002: ADLA led the opposition to a legislative ballot referendum that would have permitted slot machines at greyhound racetracks. The measure was defeated by an 80% to 20% margin.
2000: ADLA led the opposition campaign to a legislative ballot referendum that would have required any wildlife-related initiative to pass by a 2/3 majority vote. Despite that we were outspent 7 to 1, voters defeated the measure.
1998: ADLA volunteers helped place a measure on the ballot to ban cockfighting. Voters overwhelmingly passed the measure by a 2 to 1 margin, making Arizona the 46th state to ban this barbaric blood sport.
1994: After failed legislative attempts, ADLA’s predecessor organizations worked to place a measure on the ballot to ban cruel leg-hold traps and poisons on Arizona’s public lands.
When the legislative session ends, we continue our efforts to build relationships with lawmakers and other animal protection groups, and plan for upcoming sessions. Following each session ADLA publishes a legislative report which includes background on bills affecting animals, and how lawmakers voted on key bills.
For those that care about animals, one of the most important actions they can take is to vote. ADLA partners with a number of organizations to get citizens registered to vote in upcoming elections.
For more information on ADLA's Legislative Program or to receive legislative alerts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org