Ohio voters this week moved to protect the state's animal agriculture industries by approving Issue 2, which sets up an industry-dominated board to oversee livestock care. The 13-member Livestock Care Standards Board would include Ohio's agriculture director, family farmers, veterinarians, one representative from a local humane society, and consumers.
Authors and promoters of the measure hope it will thwart efforts of animal rights groups in their attempts to outlaw confinement of laying hens, breeding sows and veal calves. Seven states have passed such laws. Some in the animal industries hope Ohio's ballot issue might prove itself a blueprint for other states to protect their animal agriculture.
The American Human Association chose to support the initiative and fully expects the new Livestock Care Standards Board to significantly and quickly advance and improve farm animal welfare in that state.
"Because American Humane believed this initiative had the potential to advance humane care and handling of animals raised for food, we expressed our support and offered our expertise and guidance in the actual formulation and implementation of meaningful standards and practices, which we have done in other states as well," said Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of American Humane. "Historically, we have supported a multitude of efforts aimed at improving and advancing the care and well-being of companion pets and animals raised for food, along with the awareness that such issues bring to the public."
Wheatley went on to say that AHA believes generally it should be up to each state or jurisdiction to decide how best to accomplish animal welfare and it chose to support an effort that Ohioans themselves developed, as opposed to having legislation or regulation imposed upon the state by outside interests.
Jacqui Fatka, staff editor of sister publication Feedstuffs, who lives in central Ohio posted to her D.C. Dialogue blog an entry about Issue 2. To read her thoughts on the subject, click HERE.