Thursday, July 1, 2010

Livestock Care Issue Won't Be On Ohio Ballot

Livestock care amendment won't be on ballot
July 1, 2010
By MARC KOVAC
Dix Capital Bureau

COLUMBUS -- The Humane Society of the United States has abandoned its drive to place an animal care-related constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

The decision came late Wednesday afternoon, the day the group was supposed to turn in petitions to the Secretary of State, after negotiating with Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

The resulting agreement included five proposed livestock standard changes: phasing out veal crates in 2017; phasing out new hog gestation crate use this year with a 15-year phase-out on existing equipment; implementing a "timeout" on battery cage permits used to confine egg-laying hens; and instituting standards for both downer livestock and euthanasia practices.

Those changes will be forwarded to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, the voter-approved body that will have to sign off on them. Read More


Only time will tell if this “agreement” was a good idea or not, but after 12 hours of thinking about it, here’s my early take on things. It would seem to me that this agreement has effectively stripped the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board of it’s constitutional duty. The citizens of Ohio decided that they wanted this board to make the decisions about livestock welfare based on scientific reasoning, not emotional arguments made by out-of-state animal rights groups. Unfortunately they are now in the position of being forced to accept this agreement based on politics rather than what’s best for the livestock.

There’s no doubt that the ballot issue would have been risky, but Ohio’s agriculture leadership seemed ready to fight for their industry right up until yesterday.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Troy. I'm not to sure if yesterday's move was a good thing or a bad thing. Time will tell. It's hard to trust a group of people [HSUS] who have targeted hard working, kind and intelligent farmers and ranchers across the country.

Lana Wallpe said...

As a member of a group from Indiana Farm Bureau District 3 who just spoke with officials and players in this game at a Darke CO. tool shed meeting, I am completely surprised. There was no mention of this decision coming Tuesday night. At the very least it takes the wind out of the sails of those people who put the time and effort in to fighting HSUS. I think it will be very harmful to good faith and trust between farmers and those in these state offices and appointed positions.

Anonymous said...

Why no mention of the cages for pets that are used – cages for gerbils, birds, mice, etc. Are these going to be regulated, too?

Ohio always seemed to me to be a rural oriented state, so I was disappointed to hear about the petition. Wonder if the signatures were valid. With the economy dragging and agriculture being one of the areas Ohio still exports more than imports, seems like it would not be the time to try crippling that industry, too.

Mike Haley said...

Troy,

You make some valid points. It will be interesting to see how the care board handles the suggestions that the governor and HSUS along with Ohio's farm groups asks them to consider.

Sarah said...

This was a very disappointing outcome. Please check out the Animal Ag Alliance's take on the "agreement" below:

http://animalagalliance.org/current/home.cfm?Section=20100702_Agriculture&Category=Press_Releases

Heather said...

I completely agree with you. I have very mixed emotions on this despite all the positive spin I read from ag groups.

A friend told me that she really thought this would benefit the egg producers and perhaps that was why the decision was made.

Who knows? I just know that on our farm, we can provide the best possible care for our sows when they live in gestation stalls and not in pens.

Congrats on your bloggy award.