Humane Society: Give Ohio farm animals some space
By TERRY KINNEY , 05.19.09, 04:06 PM EDT
The Ohio farm lobby and the Humane Society of the United States are girding for a fight over the confinement of farm animals, with the Washington-based society saying it is confident voters will side with animals and farmers saying the group's real goal is to reduce consumption of animal products.
The Humane Society met with Ohio Farm Bureau Federation leaders, the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, the Ohio Pork Producers Council and the Ohio Poultry Association in February to deliver this message: Ohio farmers must agree to change their animal husbandry practices or have the practices changed for them via the ballot box.
"When we met with those industry leaders, we suggested we come to a meeting of the minds with a plan to phase out confinement systems in the state," Humane Society president Wayne Pacelle said Tuesday. "My suggestion to agricultural leaders in Ohio was not to squander money on a campaign that was likely to fail."
The farm bureau has served notice that it is not going to roll over.
"They make what sound like simple demands regarding animals when in reality their true goal is to give animals status equal to humans," said Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
The federation sounded a fundraising alarm on its Web site last week. And in its newsletter, the organization asks if the Humane Society is making an honest attempt to improve animal care, "or is it part of a broader effort to disrupt livestock farms, artificially drive up the cost of animal products and restrict consumer choice?" Read More
Ohio’s livestock producers have refused to lay down and be run over by the new bully on the block. We have learned from the situation in California that the “prop 2” legislation is just the beginning of a series of laws animal rights groups will continue proposing in order to eliminate animal agriculture. If we don’t stand up and challenge these proposals today, there may not be a livestock industry tomorrow.