Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I wanted it here as many are aware of the "this could be trouble" post in this same forum.
Has there ever been a defense fund established in beekeeping for help in fighting against local ordinances, unwarranted claims, and the like against beekeepers or beekeeping in general?
Does the national clubs ever get involved with such matter?
Is there anyone for a club or individual to contact for legal help or advise?
Has ABJ, national clubs, or any other entity ever set up a fund for beekeepers to contribute towards lawsuits, pending legislation, and the like?
No, but if everyone will send me $50, I will see to it that the rights of this group are protected. http://www.beesource.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
Where do I send the check?
Long ago, there was a national organization
of beekeepers worthy of the name "national".
Yes, they hired lawyers to defend beekeepers
when the legal action threatened "the industry",
or when basic farming rights were threatened.
Some of the landmark cases in "bee law" were
handled by this sort of intervention.
Sadly, we no longer have such a national
organization. We have the AHPA, which caters
to the large commercial beekeepers (mostly west
of the Mississippi), and claims to represent
"all beekeepers", or dismiss beekeepers with
less than 1000 hives as "hobbyists".
We also have the ABF, which tries to be all things
to all people, and also claims to represent
Anyone who reads the letters to the editor columns of
Bee Culture or ABJ knows that the two groups apparently
spend more time resenting each other than working together.
In fact, I can't remember the last time that the two groups
agreed on anything.
The regional groups (EAS, HAS, and WAS) have clear charters,
and would tend to view such getting involved in such incidents
as being beyond the limits of their charters. They'd be right.
At the state level, there is at least Ohio, who has
a "best practices" document, and would at least provide
someone to testify in defense of a beekeeper who followed
these "best practices". But the legal bills would be
likely borne by the beekeeper.
Most other states have at least an extension person who
would be likely to provide the same service if asked.
The good news is that the internet can be used to raise
funds, muster troops, and refine arguments. Read the
"this might be trouble" thread, and see how the group
took a reasonable approach, and slowly realized that
"Pat" was not about to be bothered with being reasonable.
If these people are sued, they will likely appeal for help,
and they will get it. Everyone can send a buck. Motions
for a directed verdict are cheap, and that's all that would
be required to slam-dunk any lawsuit that might be filed by
our self-nominated candidate for a Darwin Award.
Count me in to chip in.That was a real eye opener for me.