Wisconsin village divided on animal research referendum

MOUNT HOREB, Wis. — The most divisive item on the ballot for one rural village in southern Wisconsin is a referendum about pets and animal research.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Mount Horeb residents will decide on Nov. 6 whether to designate places that breed, sell or use dogs or cats in research as a public nuisance. The issue has divided the village of fewer than 7,500 people.

The vote will impact Ridglan Farms, a beagle breeding and research facility in the area.

Local activist group Dane4Dogs began collecting signatures supporting the binding referendum earlier this year. Dane4Dogs founder Rebekah Klemm says the Ridglan facility has thousands of dogs in unethical conditions.

Rick Van Domelen is the Ridglan's facility manager and vet. He says the facility's conditions exceed the standards in federal law.