Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ohio voters overwhelmingly pass Issue 2

Congratulations to Ohio voters who had the wisdom to place animal husbandry under the guidance of those with hands-on experience instead of philosophers with a counter productive agenda.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Ohio voters overwhelmingly pass Issue 2
by Susan Crowell

COLUMBUS — Unofficial voting results indicate Ohio voters gave their approval to Issue 2, the ballot measure to amend the state constitution and create a livestock care standards board.
With 99.99 percent of the precincts reporting, the unofficial tally saw 63.65% of Ohio voters (1,958,646 people) voting for Issue 2, while 36.35% or 1,118,484 voters, voted “no.”
The constitutional amendment will create a state Livestock Care Standards Board. The 13-member board, comprised mostly of farmers, veterinarians and agricultural industry leaders, will create and implement livestock care guidelines.

The ballot measure was triggered by conversations between the Humane Society of the United States and Ohio ag leaders last February, in which the HSUS hoped to create out a working relationship to develop livestock care standards like those negotiated in Colorado (and most recently in Michigan this fall). More specifically, HSUS said it wanted to ban the use of poultry cages, veal crates and gestation stalls in the Buckeye State.

If Ohio ag groups chose not to work with the HSUS, the activist group leaders said they would take the battle to legislators or work to pass a ballot initiative in 2010.

Ohio ag leaders, however, quickly moved to push the idea of a constitutional amendment to create the livestock care standards board, feeling the proactive approach would have a stronger ag foundation than that pushed by the Humane Society of the United States.

As it looked like the state’s voters had approved Issue 2, John Lumpe, president of the Ohioans for Livestock Care Political Action Committee (PAC) said it was clear that voters understood “that a board of experts is the appropriate entity to make decisions on behalf of animal agriculture and food production in our state.”

“Voters agree with Ohio’s farm community and our diverse base of supporters — decisions about food and farming should be made in Ohio, by Ohioans,” Lumpe said in a prepared statement.

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