Ohio Farm Bureau is backing a bipartisan proposal that would establish a framework for making decisions on livestock care in Ohio.
Joint resolutions in the House and the Senate would place a measure on the November ballot to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, which will be charged with setting forth fair, effective regulation of animal care on livestock and poultry farms.
The board will comprise a broad base of experts in livestock and poultry care, including three family farmers, two veterinarians (one of whom is the state veterinarian), a food safety expert, a representative of a local humane society, two members from statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college and two members representing Ohio consumers.
Over the past several months, OFBF and other agricultural groups had engaged in extensive discussions on how to best achieve farm animal well-being while protecting the state’s farmers and consumers from restrictive, short-sighted and emotionally driven regulations. Such regulations had been pushed by activists in other states and Ohio was expected to be the next target.
Ohio’s farm and commodity organizations consulted with lawmakers to produce this measure in order to keep control of livestock care practices in the hands of Ohioans and away from out of state interests.
While the board’s authority would be focused on animal care standards, its decisions will help maintain food safety, the availability of local food, food affordability and consumer choice. Specific measures to achieve these outcomes will be part of the board’s ongoing discussion and are not written into the proposal.
“How food is produced in Ohio is a legitimate area of public interest, and we are committed to doing even more than what is expected of us,” said Jack Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau. “It’s time for Ohio to take control of the animal care issue by supporting proactive steps to protect both our food supply and our flocks and herds, while also ensuring we can produce the amount of food necessary to feed Ohio and the world.”
Read the resolution here.