House approves ballot issue on livestock treatment
By JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
COLUMBUS - Despite arguments it was moving too quickly, the Ohio House yesterday overwhelmingly approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would beat a Washington animal-rights group to the punch in addressing livestock confinement conditions.
The Senate is expected to act on a separate but identical resolution today, virtually assuring that the question will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Sen. Bob Gibbs (R., Lakeville), sponsor of the Senate resolution, said lawmakers had to "take the bull by the horns" to address the issue before the Humane Society of the United States could put its own issue on the ballot.
"Ohio consumers can be assured that Ohio agriculture will not tolerate those farms that are not willing to follow commonly accepted best management practices," he said.
"It's not often that the agricultural community requests additional regulation over the way we conduct our businesses," said Mark Watchman, a Napoleon farmer and president of the Ohio Wheat Growers Association.
"So it should be obvious to this [Senate Agriculture] committee, the Ohio Senate, and Ohio consumers that agriculture is confident in the way we raise livestock, and we invite this board of Ohio experts to be the check and balance on behalf of Ohio consumers," he said. Read More
Ohio’s House of Representative thumbed their collective noses at the Washington DC based animal rights group Humane Society of the United States. This was no doubt one of the worst public and embarrassing losses the HSUS has endured with Wayne Pacelle as CEO. Originally scheduled for an interview on Agri-Talk yesterday, Pacelle re-scheduled so that he could personally tend to the situation in Ohio. Pacelle’s bullying tactics backfired in the more ag-friendly state of Ohio, and at least for a day, forced him to put his tale between his legs.