Farm animal care at issue
By JOSHUA S. FLESHER Tribune Chronicle
POSTED: February 5, 2010
Unsatisfied with last year's passage of Issue 2, a group of Ohioans hopes to place a new measure on the ballot in November that would create stricter guidelines on livestock care.
The Ohioans for Humane Farms submitted a petition to the Ohio Attorney General's Office that spells out what would be an anti-cruelty issue for the general election ballot.
''This measure is attempting to provide minimal standards,'' said Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. ''It's to provide guidance to the Livestock Care Board.''
Last November, voters passed Issue 2 creating a Livestock Care Standards Board which essentially would prescribe standards for animal care.
''The ballot issue that was approved by the voters of Ohio have very specific points,'' Robert Boggs, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said. ''They wanted livestock care standards that improved the safety of our food supply, that encouraged local food production and that helps keep the cost of food moderate.''
Although the issue was passed, some in the state remain unhappy with the way in which livestock is treated.
''We approached people in Ohio and said we were concerned about these problems,'' Baur said. ''They never responded. They rushed to the ballot with Issue 2, and we were surprised by that.
''We didn't care for it. We didn't think it was horrible. It all depends on what this board now does,'' he said. ''Our concern is that the board will be made up of individuals who are sympathetic to agri-business.'' Read More
The sting is still fresh for the HSUS and other animal rights groups that failed to stop Ohio residents from deciding they were capable of taking care of their own livestock. In a last ditch measure to keep the newly approved board from being able to operate and make the decisions for which they will be appointed, a petition has been filed for another vote. This time the vote will be on the very familiar language that became famous in California with Proposition 2. History would suggest that this will have a tougher time passing than it has in other states. Ohio residents have made their decision about this subject and normally when a state makes a decision like that, they don’t like spending time hashing it over again. However, everyone of us in agriculture needs to do our part to contribute to the defeat of this measure if it makes it on the ballot. The newly approved board is something the state of South Dakota has had in place for a couple of decades now. It has been very successful in it’s mission. The fact that these groups don’t want it to guide Ohio agriculture shows their complete disdain for the American farmer and rancher. It’s just too bad they can’t admit it verbally, their actions have been telling that story for years.