Ohio Ag Groups Support Animal Care Amendment
Ohio state representatives rushed to pass a ballot issue on Wednesday that supporters say would keep control of agriculture inside the state, according to an article in the Columbus Dispatch. The amendment would create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a 13-member state board that would determine and enforce guidelines for the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in Ohio in order to protect food safety and locally produced food.
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland also supports the amendment, which if approved by the Ohio Senate will be on the November 2009 ballot in Ohio.
"This effort will help further the mission of Ohio farmers to provide high-quality, locally grown food,” Strickland said. "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.”
Ohio farm and ranch leaders and state elected officials proposed creation of the board in response to threats by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to support legislation or voter initiatives banning the use of modern production practices for livestock and egg producers. HSUS was successful in supporting passage of a similar ballot measure, Proposition 2 in California, last year.
The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will include representatives from a number of ag interests, including three family farmers, two veterinarians, a food safety expert, a designee from a local humane society, two members of statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college, two consumers and the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Areas the board would address are ag best management practices, farm biosecurity, animal disease prevention, food safety and food production economics.
The ballot initiative is supported by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, state Pork Producers Council and Poultry Association and other state agriculture groups.
Click here to read more from the Columbian Dispatch.