One issue that State Sen. Brad Zaun (R-Polk) is hoping to wrap up in 2020 is an animal cruelty bill. It hasn’t yet moved through the Senate, but the House passed a bill and sent it over.
“It’s my intention to get that up on the floor and send it down to the Governor for signature,” he said. “The bill we have in the Senate, I made it very clear in the title, this is for companion animals with no effect on livestock or the agriculture community. I’m very protective of them as well.”
Zaun stressed nothing in the bill would change current state code or policies in regards to livestock operations, both small and large.
“I don’t know how much clearer I could be,” he said. “The title states this is for companion animals only.”
It’s been a rough issue. Zaun said he’s been accused of working with outside groups on the legislation.
“That is not true. This is a home-borne bill,” Zaun said. “I worked with the Iowa Companion Animal Group as well as the Des Moines Area Animal Rescue League. It’s not national groups. In fact, I will go as far to say I got offered a political contribution by one of those national groups and I turned it down because I don’t want any kind of indication that I’m working with anybody, and I refused to meet with that group.”
Despite being a legislator from a city, Zaun said he’s protective of agriculture in Iowa.
“We have a very healthy livestock industry,” he said. “I’m someone who lives in suburban Iowa, but the fact of the matter is agriculture is the backbone of Iowa’s economy. I’ll have nothing to do with damaging the industry here in the state of Iowa.”
Every week, Zaun said, there’s an instance of animal abuse.
“We have one of the weakest laws in the United States,” he said.