Leaders of Ohioans for Livestock Care, which includes OFBF, released the following statement in response to HSUS’ announcement.
“Ohio farmers, first and foremost, are committed to caring for the animals we raise. It’s the right thing to do, and it means we can continue to provide Ohioans with safe, affordable, Ohio-grown food.
“Ohio voters supported the creation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (the 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 safety and food costs.
“The California-style proposal being sought by out-of-state animal rights groups is not needed, and their actions disregard the will of voters who supported an Ohio-based measure. The Board can – and will – do its job, if these groups will step back and give it time to do so. And furthermore, any group can bring before the Board any changes it seeks – without going to the unnecessary lengths of a statewide ballot initiative.
“Ohio can’t afford to pass a measure like the one in California. Ohio’s farm community is important to the fabric of our rural life and to the state’s economy, providing $98 billion to the state’s bottom line and almost one million jobs.
“In California, farms already are being courted to leave the state and relocate– taking those jobs and tax benefits with them. In Ohio, a similar result would be devastating to our economy.
“Enough is enough from these out-of-state groups. Our voters have spoken – it’s right to let Ohio experts set and maintain our excellent animal care standards, and to let farmers continue caring for their flocks and herds and providing safe, low-cost food for Ohioans.”
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Ohioans for Livestock Care is led by Ohio’s leading farm organizations, including the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, the Ohio Corn Growers Association, the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the Ohio Poultry Association, the Ohio Pork Producers Council and the Ohio Soybean Association. The groups together advocated for the successful passage of State Issue 2 in 2009, a measure to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.