Group gives up Humane Society-backed ballot effort

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A group largely funded by the Humane Society of the United States says its giving up on a Missouri ballot initiative strongly opposed by farmers.

The group called Your Vote Counts! had been pushing for a state constitutional amendment that would make it more difficult for Missouri legislators to tinker with voter-approved laws. The campaign started after lawmakers watered down tough dog breeding laws voters approved in 2010.

Your Vote Counts! campaign manager Dane Waters said Friday the group felt comfortable pulling up stakes after meetings with lawmakers, although he declined to discuss any specific assurances.

Twenty-five agriculture groups organized against the initiative, and the leader of that effort issued a statement calling it "a great day for everyone that believes Missourians should determine how our state government should operate."

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