Ohio livestock care bill officially on November ballot
SALEM, Ohio: This November Ohio voters will be deciding on what is already, a hot button issue, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Amendment. The measure, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, proposes to create a 13-member board of farmers and veterinarians to oversee the rules, regulations and animal-care standards. Governor Ted Strickland announced his support for it even before it was approved for the next Ohio statewide ballot, saying, "The board will ensure that Ohioans continue to have access to a safe and affordable local food supply and will make our state a national leader in the level of animal care and responsibility." The ballot measure was allegedly developed in an effort to stifle efforts by the Humane Society of the United States, who is reportedly prepared to launch a statewide ballot initiative for November 2010 to call for restrictions on government agricultural agencies.
HSUS officials said they are opposed to the measure because "while it’s designed to give the appearance of helping farm animals, Issue 2 is little more than a power grab by Ohio’s agribusiness lobby. The industry-dominated “animal care” council proposed by Issue 2 is really intended to thwart meaningful improvements in how the millions of farm animals in Ohio are treated on large factory farms." However, the Ohio Farm Bureau argues that the proposed 13-member group will help establish "a thoughtful process through which Ohioans consider animal care issues is better public policy than current efforts of national activist groups to illegalize specific farm practices without giving proper consideration to all sides of the debate."