Out-of-state activists have begun their efforts to undo Ohioans’ overwhelming passage of Issue 2. Less than three months after Ohioans approved Issue 2 to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB), lobbyists from Washington, D.C. have declared they know better than Ohio voters, according to John C. (Jack) Fisher, executive vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF).
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a Washington, D.C.–based animal rights lobbying organization, has announced plans to put a measure on the Ohio ballot through which HSUS would dictate OLCSB decisions.
Nearly two-thirds of Ohio’s voters this past November supported Issue 2. The board is expected to be operating by this spring, following completion of required legislation and board appointments.
“The enabling legislation hasn’t passed; the board hasn’t been appointed and the first discussions on what standards Ohioans find acceptable hasn’t been held. And yet, the Humane Society of the United States is saying, in effect, Ohioans got it wrong,” said Fisher.
“Ohioans said the 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,” Fisher said. “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 HSUS scheme was not unexpected. On election night, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle announced his intent to overturn the will of Ohio voters. To that end, HSUS is securing paid signature gatherers to force the Care Board to carry out HSUS’s political agenda as opposed to carrying out the will of Ohio citizens.
Issue 2 was supported by The American Humane Association, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, leaders of both political parties and more than 500 individuals and organizations. Leaders of the Ohioans for Livestock Care coalition were the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Corn Growers Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Pork Producers Council, Ohio Poultry Assocation, Ohio Soybean Association and OFBF.
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.
“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,” Fisher said.