Red River Valley Fair, Rabbits, & ND’s Bad Animal Rights Law

Some folks in our society are a tad presumptive and oversensitive. Seriously. An apparent outrage broke out last week as some attendees at the Red River Valley Fair discovered a carnival worker giving away bunnies as prizes.

Worse than the outrage expressed by these lunatic long-eared lovers is the fact that the act of giving away rabbits as prizes is actually illegal under North Dakota law. Can you guess which one? Yep. Section 36-21.1 of the North Dakota Century Code (NDCC). Readers of The Minuteman are somewhat familiar with Section 36-21 of North Dakota law. Part of it is being used in an attempt to prosecute Gladstone Rancher, Gary Dassinger, for abuse and neglect.

And now we have the bunnies. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I like rabbits. They’re cute. I also enjoyed them as table fare growing up on the farm. But I don’t think these carnival workers were giving them away as prizes thinking they’d be a draw for a tasty meal. I’m pretty sure they were a marketing ploy, because they’re cute and kids love them.

But whatever the reasons were that these long-eared furry critters became prizes is irrelevant. There is a fundamental issue at hand here, and it is property rights. Yes, bunnies are property. An uncomfortable reality that no proponent of animal rights appreciates.

And as property, why should the government be able to dictate whether they’re given away as prizes or not? And why the apparent distinction between an animal like a rabbit in comparison to hermit crabs and gold fish (which can

be given away as prizes)? I wonder if hermit crabs and gold fish are offended by the distinction? Where are their equal rights under the law?

One West Fargo woman’s comments in regards to the issue were quite presumptuous. She expressed the idea that people just take the rabbits home and don’t care for them or they turn them loose. Even if it’s true that some would do such a thing with an animal, why should it be up to her or the government to make the determination? And with such a presumption, how would one determine who is qualified to have such an animal in the first place? Are we going to begin doing background checks to own a bunny?

To add to the ridiculous nature of the situation, we have the comments of Red River Valley Fair Director, Bryan Schulz, to Valley News Live:

“We want to make sure when people are out here, they’re safe. We don’t want people to take home animals – critters – that they can’t take care of. We don’t want them to be harmed in any way. So, that’s why we don’t allow it.”

Yes, folks. Mr. Schulz and the organizers of the Red River Valley Fair want to make sure that you’re safe from these critters we know as rabbits. And they want to make sure the critters are safe from any of us who don’t know how to take care of them.

Apparently these are dangerous times, folks. Where would we be without the protection of the Almighty State and the Red River Valley Fair when it comes to bunnies?

I wonder what’s next? Universal veterinarian care for these critters and others like them? Coverage for everything except the hermit crabs and gold fish of course.

What the heck has happened to North Dakota? It seems we’re losing our minds. And if we don’t push back and eliminate bad laws like Section 36-21, we stand to lose a whole lot more. Perhaps we should pay better attention to what happens in Bismarck every couple of years.





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About T. Arthur Mason 874 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.