On Nov. 3, Ohio voters will decide the fate of Issue 2 -- a voter referendum to create an Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. The Board would set standards for the care and well-being of livestock statewide.
A political action committee, Ohioans for Livestock Care, has been formed to educate voters about the purpose of the Standards Board and the need for such a measure in Ohio.
“Issue 2 will bring together the best Ohio expertise in animal care to help to ensure excellent care of the state’s flocks and herds,” says the group’s Web site. “The 13 members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will include Ohio experts in animal care, food safety, farm management, veterinary care, academia, humane society operations and consumer interest.”
According to Dick Isler, executive vice president, Ohio Pork Producers Council, “Ohio hog farmers recognize that they have both a moral and ethical obligation to provide for the humane treatment of their animals. That’s why we fully support the proposal to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, because it ensures that animal well-being is top-of-mind in all livestock production practices.”
It comes as no surprise that the Humane Society of the United States is opposed to Ohio’s Issue 2. After all, it is backed by agriculture, and agriculture is bad… right? “Don’t let Big Ag get away with this power grab,” the HSUS implores Ohio voters.
Today, less than 2 percent of Americans farm for a living, according to USDA. Apparently, HSUS is the self-designated instructor to the remaining 98 percent of the U.S. population. The fact that they don’t raise livestock for a living, and likely never have, doesn’t stop HSUS from delivering their ill-informed opinions without regard to consequences on hard-working agricultural families who produce food safely and efficiently.
Apparently, HSUS also wants to act as instructor to the nation’s farmers who have been working hard day in and day out, weekends and holidays included, for most or all their careers. It sounds as if HSUS wants to do the “power grab” themselves.
What HSUS is missing, as usual, is that Issue 2 is needed because it keeps those who know the most about raising livestock and poultry, and those who are true experts, at the helm of decision-making when it comes to animal agriculture, not those who stand on the sidelines opining on subjects on which they have no experience.
Hopefully, Ohio voters will take the high road on Nov. 3 and ensure that agriculture in their state remains in the capable hands of those who are best equipped to insure its success. With Issue 2, Ohio will have the most progressive and comprehensive law in the nation to guarantee the well-being of livestock and poultry.
My colleague, Rick Jordahl, from our sister publication, Pork magazine, did a great job of summarizing the situation, so I won’t say too much more. Dairies just need to let the public know that they CARE ABOUT THE COWS. It doesn’t have to be real scientific or formal — just let the public know that you care. — Tom Quaife, editor