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Colorado Voters for Animals is stepping up candidate endorsements, funding

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A Colorado nonprofit that works to protect animals through legislation is going to put greater emphasis on backing candidates who share the group's agenda, a leader said today.

Colorado Voters for Animals (CVA) is also planning to raise money for candidates it supports, said Holly Terry, vice president and state legislative liaison.

"CVA in its current iteration is relatively new," said Terry. "We've gotten serious about endorsing humane candidates and raising money for them."

The nonpartisan group's stated goals are advocating for humane legislation, opposing inhumane legislation and educating the public on issues that affect animals.

It has a few thousand members who can be mobilized to make phone calls and send emails to affect legislation, said Terry, who previously served as the Colorado director of the Humane Society of the United States.

One of CVA's main legislative goals in the upcoming session of the Colorado General Assembly is to get a law mandating pet stores to disclose whether the animals they sell come from puppy mills, she said. Another is to make sure puppy mill animals in Colorado are seen by veterinarians.

Related to that, CVA has been working to get the Northglenn city council to ban live-animal sales at pet stores in the city.

Among its other goals this year is opposing so-called "Ag Gag" legislation, which punishes undercover investigators who go undercover to expose alleged cruelty at agribusiness facilities.

This stems from a Weld County case last year in which an investigator who filmed alleged cattle abuse at a Kersey cattle facility was charged with cruelty, along with three employees, because she did not immediately turn her evidence over to authorities. The evidence was later released at a press conference by an animal welfare group that espouses veganism.

The charges against the investigator have since been dropped because the district attorney believes the charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the website "Green Is the New Red. "

Animal rights supporters claim Ag Gag actions are meant to intimidate people who gather evidence of wrongdoing.

To reach Colorado Voters for Animals: www.covotersforanimals.org

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