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OFBF condemns abuse, stands up for Ohio farmers
Buckeye Farm News
There is no excuse for the mistreatment of the animals in a video recently released by an animal rights group, but there is also no reason to think that abuse is common on Ohio farms.
As law enforcement authorities worked to investigate the cruelty, Ohio Farm Bureau was hard at work speaking out on behalf of Ohio farmers who were also angered and disgusted by the video captured at a Union County dairy farm.
“The dairy farm abuse situation hit Farm Bureau with a tidal wave of media inquiries and questions from the general public. Obviously people look to Farm Bureau for input and perspective when major media firestorms erupt,” said Pat Petzel, OFBF vice president of communications.
Farm Bureau condemned the abuse, assured the public the behavior was the extreme exception and said legal authorities should be given time to do their work, Petzel said.
“It's not a fun job when this type of story hits the media and while we all know within the farm community that abusive behavior toward animals is not common, it's Farm Bureau's job to reassure the public and be the voice of reason. Work like this is one of our member benefits that every farmer should consider when looking at the value of Farm Bureau membership,” Petzel said.
Mercy for Animals, the animal rights group that released the video, claimed that abuse was rampant on farms and encouraged consumers to “ditch dairy.” Ohioans for Humane Farms, the group backed by the Humane Society of the United States, used the video as fodder for its ballot campaign that would undermine the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
“There is no question the outrage we all felt in viewing the mistreatment of the animals on the video, but understand we have a legal process is in place to address it,” said Mike Bumgarner, vice president of OFBF’s Center for Food and Animal Issues. “As we encourage a thorough investigation of the situation, our role now is to engage the public, answer their questions and demonstrate that farmers take their responsibility of caring for animals very seriously.”