Volunteers Jan Hughes and Jamie Williams of Warren County, gathering signatures at Findlay Market; photo courtesy of K. Kil
One signature at a time, volunteers across Ohio are working to reverse the direction of the state’s rapidly-industrializing animal farming system. They have until June 31 to gather 600,000 voter signatures, in support of a November referendum that would crack down upon the most inhumane elements of industrial confinement and slaughter.
They call the main goal of the bill modest: to provide every laying hen, pregnant sow, and calf, with enough space to stand up, lay down, turn in a full circle, and extend his or her limbs.
Young cows await the auction pen at White's Livestock Auction in Indiana; a rooster looks on.
A proposed constitutional amendment that defines minimum welfare standards for Ohio’s farm animals, has been cleared by Attorney General Richard Cordray to move toward November’s ballot. The bill is sponsored by Ohioans for Humane Farms, a coalition of local and national humane societies, consumer safety groups, and others. The organization’s supporters have until June 30 to gather 402,275 valid Ohio signatures, for the amendment to appear on November’s ballot.
If the bill passes, Ohio’s still-unformed Livestock Care Standards Board will be required to enforce these regulations: