Livestock Care Standards Advance Without Enforcement Plan

Livestock Care Board members Harold Dates (l) and Dominic Marchese (r) at last week’s board meeting.

Ohio’s Livestock Care Standards Board moved with unusual swiftness and cheer last week, to vote the final 25 pages of their document one step closer to entering the Ohio Revised Code. Likely to become effective this July, these will be the state’s first statutes regulating the care of chickens, pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas—all of whom are excluded from the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Congratulations have hummed within the board and animal protection groups, for arriving at mutually-palatable standards after a year-long haul.  But as the whittled rules move forward, no structure exists to enforce them. Continue reading

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Issue 2: What, Who, and Why?

What does Issue 2 propose?

Issue 2 would amend Ohio’s constitution to place future decisions about the treatment of livestock animals, in the hands of a government-appointed “Livestock Care Standards Board.”

The resolution does not define “livestock,” so it is unclear whether dogs raised on large-scale intensive breeding facilities–known by detractors as “puppy mills”–would be affected by this legislation.

An employee at White's Livestock Auction in Brooksville, IN, moves pigs into a waiting pen.

A White's Livestock Auction employee moves pigs into a waiting pen, in Brookville, IN.

Why has Issue 2 been proposed?

Issue 2’s proponents have been clear about their motive: to prevent animal welfare reforms backed by the Humane Society of the United States. An HSUS-supported referendum passed this year in California, which requires that all caged farm animals be given enough room to stretch their wings and legs, and turn around in a circle.  While small farms often meet this requirement, the large, industrialized indoor farms that provide most of America’s meat and eggs, often do not.

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