Ohio passes livestock care bill
By Jill Blocker
April 1, 2010
Livestock in Ohio will get better care and housing arrangements, thanks to Gov. Ted Strickland’s signing of House Bill 414 into law Wednesday. The bill provides policies and procedures for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, which will set animal care standards for livestock and poultry.
The Board will set standards for livestock and poultry care that take into account best farm management practices for animal well-being, animal morbidity and mortality data, food safety and local availability and affordability of food, according to http://www.ohiofarmer.com/. The strict regulations on farm animal confinement have become popular as the Humane Society of the United States and other groups have pushed to raise awareness of how animals are treated in the food-production system, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Board, created in November with the passage of Ohio Issue 2, is comprised of 13 members with different backgrounds: a family farmer, a licensed Ohio veterinarian, state veterinarian at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, a food safety expert, a representative of a county humane society that is organized under state law, two members from state wide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college or university and two members of the public representing consumers.
“Ohioans have spoken and clearly understand that a board of experts is the appropriate entity to make decisions on behalf of animal agriculture and food production in our state,” said John Lumpe, president of Ohioans for Livestock Care PAC, to AG Web in November. “Passage of Issue 2 is a win for everyone who acknowledges the essential relationship between excellent farm animal care and a safe, affordable, locally grown food supply.”
Livestock issues will be determined by the overall impact of animal health, biosecurity on livestock farms, animal disease and prevention and food safety and production volume and price. States such as Michigan, California, Arizona and Idaho have also moved toward making stricter animal welfare laws on housing animals such as chickens, pigs and cows. However, an unforeseen consequence of states making the regulation change is that outsiders may try to lure farmers imposed with strict legislation to more lenient states.
Oh how sweet it is to be in agriculture! Although the war is far from over, it seems that producers have won this battle. Have a great Good Friday and a very Happy Easter!
Until next time,