Thursday, July 1, 2010

Livestock Care Issue Won't Be On Ohio Ballot

Livestock care amendment won't be on ballot
July 1, 2010
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.

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