Tuesday, March 16, 2010

HSUS Kicks Off OH Ballot Initiative

Animal Standards Fight Restarts in Ohio
NAFB News Service
Hoosier Ag Today

The Ohio House voted 90 to 0 last week to establish the Ohio Livestock Standards Board. At the same time, Wayne Pacelle was in Ohio to kick off another constitutional ballot issue. The issue, backed by the Humane Society of the United States, would require the farm standards board to ban - extreme confinement - of pigs, chickens and other animals for most of their lives, prohibit using sick or injured cows for human consumption, and eliminate inhumane euthanasia methods.

Under the program, farm owners or operators would be barred from - tethering or confining any calf raised for veal, pig during pregnancy, or egg-laying hen, on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending his or her limbs, or turning around freely. A half-dozen exceptions are listed, including ones for fairs, rodeos and 4-H shows.

If 402,275 valid signatures of Ohio registered voters are collected by June 29, the proposal will be placed on the November ballot as a statewide constitutional issue. Pacelle expects to have, “thousands of volunteers hitting the streets - to gather signatures.” The Ohio Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations that supported Issue 2 last fall have vowed to fight the HSUS proposal. Link

Not wanting to leave the issue of animal welfare and care in the hands of professionals and experts, Wayne Pacelle (who was a history major in college) and the HSUS is launching their ballot initiative in Ohio. They want to force the newly approved and not yet formed Livestock Care Standards Board to accept certain guidelines based on pure emotion and little science. Fortunately it appears that the citizens of Ohio are quite aware that farmers and ranchers are the real experts on animal care. It will be essential to keep the momentum gained from last years vote carrying forward.

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