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Ohio’s Issue 2: More government when less is needed

by: michael wolfe | published: 10 09, 2009

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The idea sounds good: set up standards for treatment of livestock. However, in practice, it is merely a hasty response in an attempt to fend of radical animal rights groups from creating harsher standards. Some of these groups, like HSUS, will not be hindered by such actions, nor will they stop lobbying for the complete ban of animal use by humans. The amendment is as follows:




Proposed by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly

To adopt Section 1 of Article XIV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio

This proposed amendment would:

1. Require the state to create the Livestock Care Standards Board to prescribe standards for animal care and well-being that endeavor to maintain food safety, encourage locally grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families.

Do legislatures think farmers are ignorant? Farmers know that healthy animals produce better results, without having a new bureaucracy sticking its nose into their barn and consuming more tax dollars. Groups like the FFA and 4H instill good livestock practices into future farmers from youth. We’re not just talking about the “mega farms” who are already under scrutiny, but about something that will impact many smaller and family farmers. Oh, and the last thing the state of Ohio needs is more administrative costs. We are already fighting with the budget, why add more costs when we need to be trimming them?

2. Authorize this bipartisan board of thirteen members to consider factors that include, but are not limited to, agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being, biosecurity, disease prevention, animal morbidity and mortality data, food safety practices, and the protection of local, affordable food supplies for consumers when establishing and implementing standards.

Bipartisan board. Just what farmers need, politics injected into the setting up of standards that will impact them. Notice that despite the wide ranging degree of controlling factors, it isn’t limited to just that.

3. Provide that the board shall be comprised of thirteen Ohio residents including representatives of Ohio family farms, farming organizations, food safety experts, veterinarians, consumers, the dean of the agriculture department at an Ohio college or university and a county humane society representative.

It doesn’t specify the breakdown of this board, and there is nothing that would provide yet another target for radical animal rights activists to either attack or infiltrate. Instead of giving in to them halfway, and creating such a government body, make the activists fight the whole battle, instead of letting well meaning people serve as a Trojan horse to get the activists to the half way point. Some of them may complain about issue 2, because it doesn’t go far enough, but its passage will make their job easier.

4. Authorize the Ohio department that regulates agriculture to administer and enforce the standards established by the board, subject to the authority of the General Assembly.

Again, we see that politics will be injected into it. There is also nothing in this amendment that prevents new fees, licenses, or some kind of compliance audits. Such things would be costly and time consuming to family farms, which already put in full days for slim profit margins. Why add another layer of cost and inconvenience for dubious benefits?

The bottom line is Ohio farmers know how to treat their animals, and do not need more bureaucrats and red tape. Appeasement never works with groups like HSUS and PETA.

There will be a town hall event on Issue 2 Town Hall Forum October 19th @ OSU more info here

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