Humane Society, farmers prepare for war
Battle lines are forming over proposal to change Ohio rules on methods of confining livestock
By Bob Downing Beacon Journal staff writer
Published on Sunday, Jul 19, 2009
Ohio farmers are fighting back against a proposal by the Humane Society of the United States to change how chickens, pigs and calves are confined.
The two sides already are scrapping over what is expected to become a heated, emotional and costly statewide ballot issue in November and perhaps again in 2010.
What's happening is ''tremendously scary to Ohio farmers . . . and what's happening will impact everyone in Ohio,'' Stark County farmer Frank Burkett III said.
The outcome could cost farm jobs in Ohio and affect prices, opponents contend.
In 2008, the Humane Society played a key role in a California vote that changed the way farmers there must care for and shelter farm animals. Ohio became its next target, largely because of the state's 30 million egg-laying hens.
Battle lines formed this February with the Humane Society pitted against the powerful Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Cattlemen's Association, Ohio Pork Producers Council and Ohio Poultry Association.
The message from the Humane Society was clear: Change your animal-husbandry practices or have them changed foryou at the ballot box. Read More
This article really does a nice job of summing up what has happened and what might unfold in the months to come in Ohio. Agriculture has definitely seen some success so far, but we can’t take our eye off the ball yet. As the livestock care board continues it’s journey onto the ballot this fall, it will need the support from people across the country. Pacelle and Shapiro’s goal is to convince Ohioans that farmers and ranchers don’t know how to take care of their livestock. The truth is that farmers and ranchers have knowledge of animal welfare that runs generations deep.