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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

MeatingPlace reporters note that a November ballot initiative that would have changed state law regarding confinement for livestock has been taken off the table, now that the state of Ohio and the Humane Society of the United States has reached an agreement on that and several other issues.

HSUS and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland both announced the agreement in news releases on their websites. It makes several recommendations to the newly created Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, the Ohio legislature and Gov. Strickland for:

  • A ban on veal crates by 2017, which is the same timing as the ballot measure.
  • A ban on new gestation crates in the state after Dec. 31, 2010. Existing facilities are grandfathered, but must cease use of these crates within 15 years.
  • A moratorium on permits for new battery cage confinement facilities for laying hens.
  • A ban on strangulation of farm animals and mandatory humane euthanasia methods for sick or injured animals.
  • A ban on the transport of downer cows for slaughter.

Other provisions address cockfighting, puppy mills and the purchase of dangerous exotic animals as pets.

HSUS said in its news release that it reached the agreement with the Ohio Farm Bureau and other agricultural commodity groups on the same day Ohioans for Humane Farms would have delivered more than 500,000 signatures to the Secretary of State, to put a similar initiative on the ballot as a referendum in November.

“Instead of expending tens of millions of dollars and unproductive energy fighting an acrimonious campaign through the fall, both sides will be able to continue investing in our agricultural base and taking care of animals,” Gov. Strickland said in his statement.

The agreement preserves the integrity of the Ohio Livestock Animal Care Standards Board and provides meaningful recommendations on animal welfare and animal care standards, he noted.

I find it interesting that HSUS is even allowed to bring forward ag issues based on politics and emotion without science and that the Ohio governor is threatened enough to force the advisory board into accepting them.


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