Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vote YES on Issue 2????

I keep getting all these emails about how I should vote NO on issue 2. I did not really understand issue 2 so I did some research. Here is what I found out and I will be voting YES on issue 2. ( I THINK)

To create the Ohio livestock care standards board to establish and implement standards of care for livestock and poultry.

Farmers in Ohio worked with the Ohio General Assembly to write the amendment proposed in Issue 2 which is strongly supported by legislative leaders from both parties. They did this because Out-of-state activist groups have signaled they would like to bring an initiative to Ohio that would set rigid, inflexible and impractical rules for how livestock and poultry are housed. This would lead to higher costs for consumers, put food safety at risk, increase the amount of food imported to Ohio, cause thousands of farmers to go out of business, and endanger the overall health and well-being of Ohio's flocks and herds.

The biggest problem is people who know virtually nothing about livestock farming are being misinformed about what is humane treatment. This group calls for housing that puts chickens and pigs in jeopardy b/c chickens and pigs are notorious for "fighting" when allowed to be penned in groups and they will literally kill the weaker animals. There is misinformation that claims livestock are kept in small pens where they can't move or turn around, or how the animals are kept in filthy conditions, etc. This is untrue. Again, non-farmers are uninformed and are being conned through emotional stories of animal abuse that doesn't exist.

There is also a lot of misinformation on who will be part of the board. Here is the exact language in the amendment:
Provide that the board shall be comprised of thirteen Ohio residents including representatives of Ohio family farms, farming organizations, food safety experts, veterinarians, consumers, the dean of the agriculture department at an Ohio college or university and a county humane society representative. If you read the full text of the amendment you will see even more defined information.

There is no doubt that we need to be informed and take action when animal abuse occurs. Whether it's pets or livestock, cruelty is unacceptable. There is no doubt it has happened and will happen again. But we must act with knowledge and regulate responsibly and not with outrageous regulations that increase food prices and put Ohioans out of work.

There is a main radical group that is spreading lies about this issue and they are WRONG in what they say. Please do not believe that issue 2 will in anyway protect those who mistreat animals or support puppy mills because it will NOT. The board that will be developed if issue 2 passes can actually help in STOPPING puppy mills and puppy mill auctions.

Continue to support your local rescue groups, local Animal Protective League, and local Humane Society. These groups deserve your support and do not have hidden agendas.


Anonymous said...

I read this amendment too. Which the Humane Society of the US strongly opposes. The amendment does not say how long these appointed board members will serve. Is this a lifetime appointment? It also does not say how much they will be paid and who will pay them. I would like to know who will pay them. If it is Cargill, ConAgra, or Smithfield Pork - then I would ask you to reconsider your vote. I would also ask you to do some research and see how veal calves, laying hens and breeding hogs are legally allowed to be treated. It is not humane by any standard and this bill will allow it to continue. Allowing big corporate farming to decide what is humane and what is not is like having the fox guard the hen house.

Issue 2 requires no change in the way animals are treated, rendering this amendment little more than a public relations stunt designed to give the appearance of regulation in Ohio.

Issue 2 is designed to favor large factory farms that will continue to use cruel and inhumane confinement methods, and that's why the measure is opposed by Ohio's family farmers, environmentalists, and animal advocates. The broad coalition of organizations opposing Issue 2includes the Ohio Farmer's Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, the Ohio Sierra Club, the Ohio League of Women Voters, and The Humane Society of the United States.

In Ohio, tens of millions of egg-laying hens, veal calves, and breeding pigs are confined in crates and cages where they can barely move an inch, many of them unable even turn around or stretch their limbs. Six other states have passed laws to address this type of extreme confinement, but Ohio is lagging behind. Whether or not Issue 2 passes, the inhumane confinement of Ohio's farm animals will remain unaddressed, and it will take hard work from us in the humane community to reduce the suffering of these millions of animals who can barely move for their entire lives.

Don't let Big Agribusiness get away with a power grab that would codify abusive practices through the state constitution. Please vote NO on Issue 2!

Dog Rescuer said...

after doing some research and my sister went and visited a large egg producing farm and a large dairy farm. The chickens are happy and health and do have room to move around. She said that the chickens are WAY better taken care of then she would have ever imagined.

At the dairy farm she said the cows are closely monitored and are very clean (have you ever tried to keep a cow clean.. LOL it is hard!).

You bring up a good point though...who will pay for this board. UGH! This issue has me spinning in circles. Please anyone else with information please share...seriously... if you can site websites for or against it that would be helpful.

Darlene S said...

Here's a link to an article:

Anonymous2 said...

BTW, overseeing the farming industry in this state and maintaining food safety and animal welfare is the job of the state's Department of Agriculture. Why do we need a separate Livestock Board to do this???????

I see these lawn signs in my neighborhood, put up by good-intentioned but misinformed folk: Vote yes on issue 2; eat local, keep our food safe, excellent animal care.... or something to that effect. Definitely slick promotional material. Where can one find a 'Vote NO on issue 2' lawn sign?

Anonymous said...

Dog Rescuer:
Your sister should have visited the largest egg producer in the State of Ohio, Ohio Fresh Eggs. Fortunately the USEPA did and charged them with negligently violating the Clean Water Act after their three million egg laying facility discharged egg wash into Tymochtee Creek. They pled guilty in May, 2009. Maybe they shouldn't be regulated under the Clean Water Act. Maybe there should be a constituionally-created committee of industry dominated people and one environmentalist (like the Livestock Board being proposed)instead to just "discuss" these "scientific" issues forever. Issue 2 is a scam. Factory farms need to be regulated by the General Assembly and through a strong delegated agency, whether its environmental laws or animal welfare laws. Ohioans need to be able to pass laws through their General Assembly to enact reforms. We don't need a constituitional amendment that would take the right of Ohio voters away to pass reform through the General Assembly. Before it was Ohio Fresh Eggs, it was Buckeye Egg. They were sued so many times by Ohio EPA and caused so many fish kills in Ohio rivers and streams I lost count. As far as animal welfare goes, similar story -- millions of hens died when the owner, Anton Polmann, failed to free them from their cages after a disaster there. He had been banned before that from ever owning animals again in Germancy when he operated in Germany because of his abuse. Wake up! It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a committee of 13 so-called expert to decide these policy issues. As far as economics, this country's most scholarly animal scientist and expert, Temple Grandin (look her up) explained: "There s a point where economics alone must not be the sole justification for an animal production practice. When the egg producers ask me if I wanted cheap eggs I repled, 'Would you want to a buy a shirt if it was $5 cheaper and made by child slaves.'?" VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2.

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Issue 2. The Humane Society of the United States is not affiliated or connected to your local Humane Society. Only 5% of their budget goes to animal care and welfare. I do not believe this organization has the best interests of farmers (or any of us) in mind. I also do not beleive small farmers are against Issue 2. Not the ones I've talked to or know. There is no doubt we all have to be vigilant against animal abuse and farms of all sizes have committed abuse. However, just because a farm is large, does not make it abusive. This is a falicy. Are those of you who say that animals are being mistreated been to all the large scale farms in Ohio to verify? Although I haven't been to all, I've been to two very large scale farms and there was no abuse, no small pens so animals couldn't turn around, etc. I toured a dairy farm with thousands of cows. They were very happy, well cared for and clean. I also visited a chicken farm with 2.3 million chickens. They were also very happy, well-cared for, clean and could turn around. HSUS would like to pass legislation that is rigid and unreasonable so Meat, Dairy and Egg producing becomes impossible. Issue 2 is designed to prevent this radical legislation. All the material on Issue 2 is quite clear on this point. Large companies did not help design this legislation, farmers did. It is neither a secret or undesirable. Loss of large scale farming will put hundreds of thousands of Ohioans out of work and drive up the price of meat, dairy and eggs. I beleive the Board that will be set up as a result of Issue 2 will provide the necessary standards without jeopordizing jobs and food prices.

Anonymous said...

Please vote no on issue 2. If you read this blog you obviously have a soft spot for animals and issue 2 will take away a lot of what little protection farm animals have left to them. I've never been an activist and never shoved my beliefs down anyone's throat but how many people truly know how tortured their nightly dinner was before it got to their plate?
Please vote no on issue 2.

Anonymous said...

Okay lets talk about the "dangerous" HSUS. In 2007 it was the HSUS that single-handedly revealed through their investigation that the Hallmark Meat Packing/Westland Meat Co. located in Chino, California was violently forcing (e.g., ramming cows with forklifts, applying painful electric shocks, etc.) "downer" animals to pass inspection and to slaughter. They were also the second largest supplier to the National School Lumch Program. Downer cattle have an increased risk of contracting bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease"). That's why they should not be slaughtered. HSUS's investigation and documentation led to the San Bernadino DA charging five felonty counts against company employees who used those forced methods. HSUS also filed a lawsuit, with the U.S. Dept. of Justice to recover $150 million dollars in taxpayer money spent on the potentially tainted ground beef. So that's not good enough is it? Its not like a "local humane society" is it? You people who are in favor of Issue 2 are an embarrassment to other Ohioans

Dog Rescuer said...

Anonymous Oct 24 - Please don't call people names... let's stick to the facts.... I posted this blog for information... I still am not 100% sure which way I am going to vote and I would appreciate that FACTS and not name calling be posted in the comments.

Your information is helpful and I appreciate the information but not the name calling.

Talking to farmers.. small and big they all say vote yes. Talking to people who do NOT own farms they say vote No. Both sides have valid points...

cheryl davis said...

I will vote no on issue 2 because I think it will hurt the family farm. One organic free range farmer in Yorkshire, Ohio has had his NO on 2 signs cosistently torn down. A farmers market vendor said if he has any more regulations put upon him by Big Agra he will have to go out of business. These are the people I want to do business with, not the Walmarts of Big Agra. Think of the family farmer, think of the local produce, think of the constitution, and think of the animals. Vote No on Issue 2.

Anonymous said...

I DO own a small farm, and raise poultry and goats, and am involved in 4H and the county fair and definitely WILL be voting "NO" on Issue 2.

We don't need another state board with members who appointed via big business and bigger government telling us how to raise our livestock. I have free range poultry, and believe me, they are WAY happier than any chicken in a cage.

Those who want to push Issue 2 through have no interest in that kind of farming. They are destroying our countryside - why would you support them?!

The scare over HSUS is fear-mongering on their part. Ignore it.

Anonymous said...

My milk and egg farm, my meat farm, and my produce farms are all saying Vote NO! The fact of the matter is that a board without checks and balances will decide for all Ohio farmers. I'm not saying Ohio farms don't need a good look at some issues, but Issue 2 is not the answer.