MOUNT VERNON — The Ohio Livestock Care Standards that went into effect last year were a successful effort to head off a ballot issue planned by the Humane Society of the United States and make sure animal care standards in the state were made by farmers, veterinarians and the agriculture industry, Bill Moody told those attending the monthly Farmer Breakfast on Tuesday.
Moody, from Fredericktown, served on the committee that created the livestock care standards. He described the process the committee went through and what some of the tougher issues proved to be.
He reminded the 20 or so farmers present that in 2009 HSUS was threatening the state with a ballot issue to set animal care standards. That, he said, was something Ohio farmers and others in the agriculture industry wanted to avoid, and so got an issue on the ballot to create a committee to develop livestock care standards for Ohio. The committee included farmers, veterinarians, the dean of the OSU College of Agriculture, a county humane agent, representatives of related industries and others.
Public participation was also encouraged, and anywhere from 10 to 120 people would attend the committee sessions.
Starting in the spring of 2010, the committee took up the issues of housing, health, transportation, distressed or disabled animals and euthanasia, plus other related topics. Subcommittees were created to develop rules for each class of farm animals.
Some of the big issues they confronted involved swine, veal calves and chickens, specifically gestation stalls for swine, the crates used to house veal calves and stacked cage systems for chickens.