Friday, February 26, 2010

Strickland and Kasich denounce HSUS ballot initiative in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Denounces HSUS Ballot Plan
By Pork news source Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland and his GOP rival candidate John Kasich both declared their opposition to a ballot measure being planned by the out-of-state activist organization the Humane Society of the United States. The Washington, D.C.-based animal rights organization has prepared to use paid petition gatherers to place on the November ballot a measure to overturn State Issue 2, which was approved by Ohio voters by a nearly 2-1 margin just under four months ago.

Issue 2 created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to allow broad public input into farm animal care issues. The HSUS plan would force the Care Board to adopt HSUS policies.

Both gubernatorial candidates endorsed Issue 2 and now agree that it’s wrong for HSUS to attempt to overturn the will of Ohio voters.

"If we want to eat, and if we want access to affordable and inexpensive food, it is important for the agricultural community within our state not to be hamstrung and to have their hands tied behind their back by those who do not fully appreciate the value of what happens on our farms," said Gov. Strickland.

Referencing HSUS’s "extremism," candidate Kasich said, "No outsiders ought to come in here and try to destroy our farms."

Last week a HSUS watchdog Web site, was launched which plans coverage on HSUS’ efforts at the national as well as state levels. “Ohio and Missouri are big battlegrounds for HSUS this year and we will be covering them extensively,” says David Martosko, Center for Consumer Freedom, the site's sponsor.

"The Ohio pork industry demonstrates to its consumers that the well-being of hogs in the state is a top priority," says Dick Isler, executive vice president, Ohio Pork Producers Council. “I would add that HSUS should try to work with the Animal Care Standards Board, not try to highjack it."

The Ohio governor candidates join Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern and Ohio Republic Party Chairman Kevin DeWine, who also condemned the HSUS plan during a broadcast of OFBF's radio program Town Hall Ohio.

"We don't need extreme out-of-state groups coming into Ohio. It just shows the political angle of the Humane Society," said DeWine.

"It's pretty remarkable. We haven't even had a chance to write the rules and somebody else is going to tell us what the rules should be," said Redfern. He added that HSUS "is clearly out of touch with Ohioans."

HSUS, which is not the parent of locally operated humane organizations, advocates for reducing and eliminating consumption of animal products.

Source: Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

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