COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) has announced its support for the agreement announced today between the Ohioans for Livestock Care coalition and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The agreement validates Ohio voters’ decision last fall to pass State Issue 2, which established the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board as the appropriate venue for defining acceptable farm animal care practices.
“One of animal agriculture’s most vocal critics has agreed that the Livestock Care Standards Board is the proper authority to handle difficult questions about farm animal care,” said Jack Fisher, OFBF executive vice president. “This is truly a milestone and confirms Ohio’s position as a national leader in farm animal care.”
Fisher also praised Gov. Ted Strickland for his efforts to create an agreement that will be good for Ohio farmers and consumers.
OFBF cited additional reasons for supporting the agreement. Farmers now have certainty for an extended period of time regarding housing regulations. The livestock industry will be less vulnerable to emotional video used to sway public opinion on farm animal care. Farmers, their organizations and allies will not be forced into a multi-million dollar media battle.
Importantly, the agreement helps farmers live up to the promises they made during the Issue 2 campaign. “We will be able to continue producing safe, local, affordable food for Ohio’s consumers,” Fisher explained. He added that the provisions of the agreement will protect jobs throughout the food industry.
Fisher complimented the Ohio agricultural organizations that have led the Ohioans for Livestock Care coalition. Farmer-leaders of Ohio’s beef, corn, dairy, pork, poultry and soybean organizations along with Farm Bureau “have been united in their commitment to do what’s best for farmers and consumers,” according to Fisher. Their unanimous acceptance of this agreement signals continued unity among all the groups.
“When farmers proposed the Care Board, we envisioned veterinarians, farmers, consumer advocates, animal specialists and other Ohioans making informed, transparent decisions on farm animal care issues,” Fisher said. “With this agreement, we have assured that the Board will have ample time to prove its value.”