Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ohio Livestock Board Officially Established

Strickland Signs Livestock Care Standards Bill
Published: Mar 31, 2010

Gov. Ted Strickland signed House Bill 414 late Wednesday March 31. The bill puts into law the policies and procedures for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board that was created with passage of Ohio Issue 2 in November.

The 13 member board will be chaired by Robert Boggs, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Ten members will be appointed to the Board by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate. These members include: a family farmer, a licensed Ohio veterinarian, state veterinarian at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, a food safety expert, a representative of a county humane society that is organized under state law, two members from state wide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college or university and two members of the public representing consumers.

"I know the governor wants to have a balanced board," says Boggs. "We have accelerated our plans for hearings because we didn't anticipate the legislature acting as quickly as they did. We hope to begin to have hearings on the new board by the end of April."

In addition one family farmer will be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and one family farmer will be appointed by the President of the Senate to serve on the Board. Already Bill Harris, president of the Ohio Senate, has announced that he will appoint Bill Moody, a beef producer from Licking County to the board. According to the governor's office more than 200 people have applied to serve on the board.

The Board will set standards for livestock and poultry care that take into account issues of: Best farm management practices for animal well-being; Animal morbidity and mortality data; Food safety; and Local availability and affordability of food.

Board members will consider these issues in the context of how they impact: Overall animal health; Biosecurity on livestock farms; Animal disease prevention; and Food safety and food production volume and price. Link

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is now officially established after being overwhelmingly passed in last November’s election. Rather than letting emotionally driven animal rights groups lead the conversation, experts in the field of animal welfare and care will be establishing best management practices for livestock. That makes good common sense wherever you live.

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