The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is moving slowly, but that’s because it is being thorough, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director (ODA) Robert Boggs told attendees at Ohio Farm Bureau’s annual meeting.
Boggs provided his take on the 13-member volunteer board tasked with developing the standards for raising livestock and poultry.
He said the agreement to provide recommendations to the board reached between Ohio agriculture groups, Gov. Ted Strickland and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) took pressure off the group to rush standards into place prior to a proposed ballot initiative that would have placed mandates on the board.
“(The agreement) took away the anger and emotion and allowed us to seriously and thoroughly discuss livestock care in the state,” Boggs said.
The board has passed standards on euthanasia and civil penalties for violations. Both have yet to go through the required formal Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) rulemaking process. Boggs said he expects final action on these standards in January. He praised the serious commitment and determination of all board members.
Boggs said the board’s duty is to set standards and that it will be up to ODA to follow through on compliance, but that the department will not be out to play “gotcha” with farmers.
“The goal is to work to bring people into compliance in the case of the first offense, not to throw the hammer down,” he said.