MOUNT VERNON — The proper care of animals, particularly livestock, is a concern for many people in Ohio, including Knox County. Recent reports from local residents on what they considered to be improper care of animals have led to some investigation about the proper procedures which need to be followed concerning the care and well-being of animals.
“It’s a case-by-case basis,” said Jim St. Clair, dog warden at Knox County Animal Shelter. St. Clair gets calls only seldom regarding livestock, and those he does handle are usually only extreme cases. He has at times referred cases to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“We do get involved to a point. But ODA often steps in, especially in the case of a herd.”
Guidelines for animal shelters are laid out in the Ohio Revised Code, where different sections pertain to different levels of animal control. St. Clair said that specific guidelines can often be a gray area, adding that he thinks some guidelines need to be stricter.
In 2009, State Issue 2 was approved which created the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board whose purpose was to create standards for the care and well-being of livestock in Ohio. Since its inception, numerous meetings, subcommittee meetings, listening sessions and a variety of livestock farm tours have taken place in gathering input from livestock farmers in order to create recommendations for livestock care guidelines.
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