Board should decide Ohio's livestock standards
BY GERALD STEBELTON • May 5, 2010
Ohio's history is deeply rooted in the agricultural industry and continues to produce quality products for local and national use. Ohio is one of the top states for agriculture products, excelling in farming, cultivation and raising livestock. Our livestock and poultry industries play an especially important role in our state's economic success. Annually, Ohio produces more than 5 billion pounds of milk and 7 billion eggs and has roughly 75,000 farms. It is crucial to support this industry and community to keep our state economically competitive.
Last July, the Ohio General Assembly passed a resolution that placed an initiative on the November 2009 ballot. The initiative, Issue 2, was approved by voters and created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, an agriculture committee responsible for crafting standards to govern the care and well-being of livestock. The standards will be created through consideration of factors such as food safety, biosecurity, disease prevention and how to protect Ohio farms and families.
Recently, the majority of the appointments to this 13-member board were announced, consisting of Ohioans familiar with our state's agricultural industry, including veterinarians, local farmers and consumers. These new board members represent all parts of Ohio and the livestock industry, and the board will provide a public forum to make the best decisions for Ohio's livestock industry. It is imperative that we do all we can to support our local farms, and creating this board is a significant step in continuing Ohio's revered agricultural operations.
However, as I have written before, our agriculture community is being threatened by a Washington-run special interest group pushing regulations that would devastate our farmers. This organization is the Humane Society of the United States but should not to be confused with our local, nonprofit humane societies that focus on responsible pet ownership and animal adoptions. Instead, the HSUS is swiftly working on a ballot initiative for this November to enact over-reaching regulations on our livestock industry. Our newly created board, made up of only Ohioans, should be the group to create such regulations and standards, not an out-of-state special interest group.
As your state representative, I will continue advocating for sound policies that will serve to protect all Ohioans. I encourage you to be cautious of proposals from outsider groups that would undermine the very support you have shown Ohio's agriculture industry through the creation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. Link
This Ohio State Representative realizes that Ohio residents, not Washington, DC animal rights groups, are the ones who are most qualified to make decisions about livestock care. The HSUS has also run into some problems getting signatures. It seems that it’s illegal for non-residents to collect petition signatures in Ohio. This really puts a damper in their normal procedure of bringing in out-of-state hired guns to do their dirty work. If they truly had the support they claim to have I wouldn’t think they’d need to sue the state of Ohio in an attempt to change the law. It’s another great example of where they spend their money. Not on needy pets but on lawyers.