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Our Take: Livestock Care Standards Board offers better approach
Buckeye Farm News
Forget for a moment that Ohio farmers have cared for their animals for generations. The stateís current public policy debate on animal care is like a fertile field in springtime.
It has been plowed by a consuming public that has lost touch with how its food is produced and fertilized by high-profile accusations of animal mistreatment. Steady showers have come from the multi-million dollar campaigns of animal activists.
Like it or not, something is going to grow. So farmers are forced to make a choice.
They can let the field go unattended, allowing policies on animal care to sprout up. Just sit back and watch the regulations go wild.
Eventually, farmers will be fighting every imaginable public policy weed, spending time and money to kill perennial ill-conceived proposals. Consider that in California, farmers and allies recently spent† millions on weed control when an animal rights group pushed to illegalize common farm practices. In the end, the field was too fertile, the farmersí efforts had little effect and the activistsí weed took over.
So Ohio Farm Bureau is pursuing another option. Plant a crop, shade out the weeds and reap the harvest.
Thatís exactly what the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will accomplish.
This crop will consist of 13 knowledgeable Ohioans who will take a deliberative and comprehensive approach to setting standards for farm animal treatment.
The harvest will be two-fold. Consumers will have greater trust that animals in Ohio are well cared for, and farmers will have certainty. Not certainty that animal care standards will always remain the same, but certainty that if and when changes are made, it will be the result of thoughtful consideration.
It wonít be because the issue was twisted by out-of-state special interests with deep pockets.
Ohio Farm Bureau will still fight the persistent weeds along the way. But by sowing the seed to create this board, farmers will greatly increase their yield.
Activists have already targeted Ohio with noxious and invasive proposals, and those weeds are beginning to break the surface. The Livestock Care Standards Board will be a much healthier crop for Ohioís farmers, consumers and the future of food production.
We can't afford to miss this opportunity to get in the field and plant.
Paid for by Ohioans for Livestock Care PAC, John C. Fisher, Treasurer, 280 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215.