Out-of-state animal activists seem to think they are more intelligent than people in Ohio. That is what the largest animal rights activist group is saying.
According to a release from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, lobbyists from Washington, D.C.,-based Humane Society of the United States are announcing plans to put a measure on the Ohio ballot through which they would dictate decisions made by the newly created Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
Representatives on this Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will include consumers, veterinarians, farmers, an Agriculture College, Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio legislature. This Board was approved by nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters last November. It is expected to be operating by this spring , following passing of required legislation and board appointments.
The Ohioans for Livestock Care Coalition, which represents all major farm groups in Ohio, said this: "Ohio voters supported the creation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards board because it is a meaningful, comprehensive way to maintain excellent care of the state's farm animals. The board, which is balanced with members representing both political parties who must be appointed and confirmed, is charged with considering all aspects of farm animal care, including animal health, medical care, biosecurity, disease prevention, food security and food costs."
With these responsibilities in mind, there is no need for the Humane Society of the United States to be meddling in Ohio regulations. They have no real idea of the needs of Ohio livestock farmers but rather promote their own agenda of eventually eliminating all animal agriculture.
Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has stated: "Ohioans said the (Livestock) Care Board is a reasonable way to address animal care in a broad context. We have the responsibility to provide humane treatment, but we also have the responsibility to consider animal care in the context of what's good for people. The care board will make decisions about farm animals, local food production, the safety and cost of food, jobs in our state and preserving family farms."The Ohio Farm Bureau also recently said that the HSUS scheme to introduce their own legislation was expected. On election night, HSUS president Wayne Pacelle announced his intent to overturn the will of Ohio voters. So he has hired paid signature gatherers to force the care board to carry out his political agenda as opposed to carrying out the will of Ohio citizens.
Ohioans should take time to understand the political agenda of the Humane Society of the United States before signing a petition or donating money, Fisher said. Many of their policies advocate elimination of meat, milk and eggs from the human diet. Fisher also added "Ohioans are smart. They'll see that HSUS' latest tactic isn't about reasonable animal care. It's about power. Ohioans took control of the animal care issue, and HSUS doesn't like it one bit."
In Ohio, we can't afford legislation like the one HSUS passed in California. Out there, it is already encouraging farmers to leave the state and eggs will be costing consumers from 25 to 50 cents or more a dozen. Ohio's agriculture provides $98 billion a year to our economy and supports almost one million jobs. We want to keep those in the state.
Local farmers generally feel that, while they don't like the idea of more regulations, they believe those established by a board of Ohio experts is far better than the political agenda of outside activist groups.
Parker is an independent agricultural writer for the Tribune.