A recent report from an Ohio State University economist says that if Ohio were to adopt regulations on animal production similar to those recently passed in California, the state’s egg industry “would be decimated.”
California voters recently approved a ballot measure backed by the Humane Society of the United States that banned cages for hens and stalls for pigs and veal calves. HSUS has proposed a similar measure in Ohio, the nation’s second largest egg producer.
Those hit hardest by these restrictions would be laborers and livestock and crop producers, according to the report by Luther Tweeten, a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics. Nearly 8,000 Ohio jobs and associated income could be lost, the report said.
Tweeten noted that food prices for consumers may not rise as surrounding states provide Ohioans with low-cost animal products. However “other states would gain jobs and income at Ohio’s expense as animal products consumed in Ohio would be produced elsewhere. Those products would be produced using current practices, so overall animal welfare would be unaffected,” he wrote.