According to news reports, Chipotle and its 100 locations in Ohio have aligned themselves with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Ohioans for Humane Farms.
Chipotle is now listed as business endorsing Ohioans for Humane Farms, HSUS's attempt to stop the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is encouraging people to speak out. Talking points included below from the Ohioans for Livestock Care can be used to help formulate comments to respond to Chipotle on Facebook and/or on Chipotle's website.
A Facebook page has also popped in lieu of Chipotle’s announcement: Chipotle Mexican Grill Stop Supporting HSUS Group
Issue Brief on HSUS Petition Drive
The Humane Society of the United States is circulating petitions to place on the November 2010 Ohio ballot a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would outlaw conventional farm and poultry housing practices.
Here are some important facts you should know:
1. The issue proposed by the HSUS is based on appealing to your emotions, while ignoring sound science, human and animal welfare and safety considerations, and the hardship it will cause family farmers across Ohio.
2. Ohio voters confronted this precise issue last year, and voted overwhelmingly to place complex decisions on animal care issues in the hands of a new Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. The board is comprised of Ohio experts in animal husbandry, food production and food safety, local humane organizations, academia, and veterinary medicine.
3. The Board has just been appointed, and is beginning its work. The Board is required to put emotion aside, and to analyze precise data and science in order to come up with rules that ensure excellent animal care, and ensure that Ohioans have a safe, ample, locally grown and reasonably priced food supply. In short, Ohio has in place a sound administrative structure to set and enforce livestock care rules, and the extreme measure proposed by HSUS is not necessary.
4. The HSUS is NOT an animal care organization, and it is NOT connected with local humane societies that take care of lost pets. It is an extreme lobby group in Washington D.C. that seeks to use the emotion that humans naturally feel for animals to promote an anti-farming agenda, and eventually to force a vegetarian or vegan diet on the entire country. This can be confirmed on the HSUS website. HSUS routinely uses emotion, legislative intimidation and lawsuits to try to accomplish its goals.
5. By changing animal confinement rules, the HSUS measure puts at risk important gains of the last few decades in animal health, reduced death and injury rates, food sanitation, and prevention of food contamination like salmonella and e coli.
6. The issue, if passed, would impose huge new costs on Ohio’s largest industry, agriculture, to construct alternate housing. That would translate to higher food cost, and would leave many farming operations unable to make the required investment. They stand to close or leave the state, creating more unemployment at the worst possible time in Ohio.
This effort by the HSUS is a direct affront to Ohio voters, and should be ignored. Please do not sign the petition if it is presented to you, and plan to vote against the issue if it is placed on the ballot.