MOUNT VERNON — The Ohio Livestock Board is nearing the end of the process of establishing farm animal standards and sending them on for consideration by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.
Board member Bill Moody of Fredericktown said the board has completed the standards for dairy, beef, swine, sheep and goats, turkeys and broilers and layers. It finished equines, llamas and alpacas on Tuesday and changed a provision in the veal standards.
Probably the most contentious issue, Moody said, was the standards for veal calves, which are often raised either tethered or in small cages. There is no veal producers’ organization in Ohio, but since both the American Veal Producers and the American Veterinary Medical Association recommended doing away with crates and tethers, Moody said the board originally decided to do away with them. However, last month the board was confronted with veal producers saying that would put them out of business and the board voted 6-5 to strike the provision that any crate a veal calf is kept in must be large enough for the animal to turn around in. Moody opposed striking the provision.
The board was then flooded with about 4,700 comments, most opposing the standard because it still allowed the crates. The Humane Society of the U.S. said the standard violated the agreement it had reached with then-Gov. Ted Strickland last year which forestalled the HSUS plan to put livestock standards on the ballot.