On Feb. 23, Congressman Zack Space, representing the people of Ohio’s 18th District, submitted the following open letter to Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States:
Dear Mr. Pacelle,
I was disappointed and troubled to hear of the recent decision by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to move forward with attempts to further their political agenda and force it on the people of Ohio. This news proves that clearly you and your organization have not been listening.
HSUS was obviously not listening when residents across the state of Ohio spoke in one voice – overwhelmingly supporting Issue 2 and ensuring that Ohioans regulate our own standards for animal care. HSUS was obviously not listening when a majority of Ohio’s federal and state delegation endorsed the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB) – overwhelmingly denouncing the HSUS’ efforts to undermine it. And HSUS was obviously not listening when farmers across the state of Ohio weighed in on this disastrous policy – overwhelmingly opposing it.
In addition to a majority of Ohioans, Issue 2 also had great support among Ohio’s legislators, Governor Strickland, and groups representing animal interests, including The American Humane Association, and the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association. It is unconscionable to me that an outside group would come into our State and claim that they know better.
The OLCSB was created just four months ago with a strong mandate by the people of Ohio, and it would be wrong for it to be hijacked by overzealous special interests based out of Washington, D.C. Our board will ensure that livestock and animals in Ohio are treated humanely and that our agricultural producers – a major sector of Ohio’s economy – are not unfairly penalized with unacceptable regulations.
The experts that will make up the OLCSB are the best sources for determining Ohio’s minimum standards of care for our animals, and not a liberal group whose real intentions are less about animal care and more about control over what we in Ohio eat.
Your attempts to dictate our state policies regarding animal care are misguided, and I will not stand for them. Ohio’s standards of animal care should be determined by those who know the issue best and have a vested interest in the outcome – Ohioans.
I joined the farmers of my district to support the passage of Issue 2, which passed with almost 64% of the vote on November 3rd. Ohioans statewide have spoken. It is clear exactly where they stand on this issue.
Mr. Pacelle, Ohio has spoken. Why haven’t you been listening?
Congressman Zack Space