Thursday, October 7, 2010

OH Livestock Board Drafts First Proposal

Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 1:21pm EDT

Ohio's Livestock Care board drafts 1st set of rules

The voter-approved Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is taking its first steps in drafting new rules to govern the treatment of animals in the state.

The board this week voted to create new standards on livestock euthanasia, marking the first time such guidelines have been established in Ohio. Specifics of the new euthanasia rules must be OK’d by a committee before going into effect and are posted here for a two-week public comment period.

The proposed euthanasia rules not only define the term itself but establish acceptable methods for horses, chickens, pigs, cattle and other farm animals based on weight and other conditions. Violators are subject to civil penalties, according to the approved draft.

The issue of more humane methods of euthanasia for animals in the state was a key sticking point in a standoff between state officials and the Humane Society of the U.S., which earlier this year was planning a ballot issue that would have bound the Livestock Care Standards Board to implement specific rules if passed. The activist group and state officials brokered a compromise in June that kept the issue from heading to the ballot and ensured the board, created with voter approval last year, would hand down regulations on dog breeding kennels, cockfighting and exotic animals. The state also has agreed to phase out so-called gestation crates used by the pork industry.

Robert Boggs, director of the state Agriculture Department, said in a release that the proposed euthanasia rules are designed to be “clear and practical for Ohio’s livestock producers.”  Link

These are the first regulations to come out of the newly formed Livestock Care Board.  Regardless of how beneficial they are for farmers and ranchers, what remains to be seen is if the HSUS will approve of them.  From here on out, any regulations the board approves will also have to be approved by the HSUS or they will start reminding everyone how they have enough signatures to go back to the ballot and force whatever they see fit.  There are certainly differing opinions about the compromise that was made in June but we do know one thing for sure, HSUS will hold the state hostage until they get everything they want.  Like a gun to Ohio’s head, those ill-gotten signatures will have more affect on the outcome of Ohio’s livestock industry than this board will. 

1 comment:

Joanie Stambaugh said...

Knowing that the HSUS is heading this is frightening enough. My personal understanding of HSUS is that they are nothing more than scammers who are in this for money (donations) and have little to no first-hand experience in the livestock business or in agriculture in general. In fact, HSUS and PETA have been listed as terrorist organizations by our own government, along with other groups such as ALF.

I know they want all animals to be treated well and to be placed on a pedestal. Well, that's fine, as long as you live in a society that does not eat meat. How can they sit there and tell me that chickens should be euthanized by certain methods? Does this also apply to the homesteader who raises their own meat animals and butchers at home? Surely they (HSUS) jest! There are so many questions I have with their terms and wording of this entire bill. They way I read it, HSUS and their fellow Animal Rights Activist groups want to control what the farmer does with any and all animals they produce and their ultimate goal is to shut down ALL livestock production in hopes of turning us all into vegetarians!! Sorry, but many of us don't agree there either.

Now, since they have listed all these other animals as livestock, what about the rabbit? These are multi-purpose creatures who serve us well. They are for meat, pelts, pets and provide a multitude of other things such as serums for research and the like. Pound for pound, the rabbit is the most economical source of meat to be produced by the homesteader and smaller farms. Why should they not be listed as livestock? Why should they not be promoted for their usefulness to the small homestead and for these larger farms who are leaving the tobacco trade and looking for another means to use their land?

I would also like to say that the rural areas of Ohio recognize the rabbit as livestock as well as pets. Here in Scioto County, I had a dog to kill my rabbits (two years ago) and cause a great deal of damage. Well, the Dog Warden told me that rabbits were considered livestock (at least here in this part of the state) and I should file a claim. He also pointed out in the ORC that as a landowner I have the right to destroy any dog that attacks livestock or pets on my property. Well, apparently now the rabbit has become less than that in the eyes of the HSUS. Many of us raise rabbits for show, meat and pets and we do so because they are much more than a cute, cuddly little creature. Rabbits can be used for far more than just the meat and pelts, they are useful in research as well as many other things. Ohio residents need to speak up and let it be known that we have a good idea of what rabbits are good for and its far more complicated than the HSUS and PETA want to admit.

The wording of the Bill needs revision and there needs to be a committee formed for the rabbit producers so that an educated opinion can be formed and no animal is left behind. With the rabbit in your barn, a farmer can't go wrong because that gives him many other options and can allow him to keep his farm going in hard times. Basically, it all comes down to common sense, either you have it or you don't when making decisions that will affect thousands of people.