Proposed farm animal care board under fire
By Ben Sutherly Staff Writer
12:49 AM Tuesday, June 23, 2009
COLUMBUS — A proposed state board charged with developing and enforcing guidelines for livestock and poultry care would thwart meaningful reform in the housing of farm animals, the Humane Society of the United States said on Monday, June 22.
But Gov. Ted Strickland, legislators from both parties and representatives of animal agriculture support a state constitutional amendment that would create a 13-member Livestock Care Standards Board. Joint resolutions proposed late last week in the House and Senate, if passed, would put the amendment before voters Nov. 3.
“This is a constitutional power grab on behalf of big agribusiness,” said Paul Shapiro of HSUS. “This is creating an industry-dominated council that will certainly codify standard inhumane practices on factory farms.”
The council would include three “family farmers,” two veterinarians, a food safety expert, a representative of a local humane society, two members from statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college, and two members representing Ohio consumers. The director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture would serve ex officio as a 13th member.
After complaining that Ohio’s farmers and ranchers wouldn’t sit down at the table with them to discuss livestock production methods, the Humane Society of the United States is now livid over the idea that Ohio may form a board to discuss that very thing. In fact they are so upset that yesterday they made a point that they would spend $10 million to ensure that this board never meets and they still get their way of forcing farmers to use non-confinement systems. If the HSUS was truly concerned about having a conversation with the citizens of Ohio, they would have been thrilled with this idea. The problem is that this doesn’t fit with their goals of ending animal agriculture and creating a vegan society. The worst tragedy is that if they accomplish their goals, it will be at the expense of livestock. Many of the things they promote for livestock may actually be detrimental to their comfort and well-being.