There has been a battle brewing in Ohio for the past two years. That battle has been between farmers that have relied of facts and science to ensure that their livestock is well cared for and animal rights groups such as Farm Sanctuary and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who prey on people’s emotions to push an agenda, in this case an agenda against animal agriculture.
Today it seems the battle has been settled for the short term as the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board has agreed to adopt every point that HSUS has asked them to since the historic buckeye compromise last fall.
First I would like to point out that I am not in disagreement with several of the decisions made, but what bothers me is that the Livestock Care board did not fulfill their obligations that were asked of them when Ohioans overwhelmingly voted to create it.
The Ohio Livestock Standards Care Board job was to look at facts, research, and science to determine proper standards for Ohio farmers to follow to ensure that farm animals were held to the highest standards within the state. In order to do this the board needed to remain free of outside politics, were money can manipulate the outcome of the situation. The Livestock Care Standards Board got off to a good start by forming several committees that collected and analyzed as much information as possible in an effort to develop the best practices for livestock.
HSUS had other ideas, apparently they felt that there was no way that science and research would support the reforms that they were demanding Ohio farmers to adopt. So as one of the country’s largest lobbying groups they chose not to recognize the Livestock Care Standards Board and started an emotional plea to Ohio Citizens and began collecting 600,000 signatures, blackmailing the Care Board, negotiating with farm groups, and crying foul whenever the Livestock Care board made a decision they did not support.
The Livestock Care Board has created most of the standards that revolve around the issues that HSUS has issues with. What bothers me about these decisions is that of all the research and science that was presented to the board there was no proof that HSUS’s recommendations. In fact even when Wayne Pacelle spoke to the board he only gave emotional reasons to adopt HSUS’s suggestions and he neither presented nor mentioned any data that backed up what he was asking. Unfortunately, despite the lack of research and information to back up HSUS’s recommendations the board was scared of the bully and handed Wayne Pacelle their lunch money as they accepted all of HSUS’s suggestions as the future standard for Ohio farmers to follow.
Because the board decided not to follow proper procedure by allowing HSUS to play politics they have adopted standards without properly investigating how those standards would affect the health and well being of livestock. While I am forced to accept their decision, I no longer have confidence that the board has developed standards that will lead to proper animal care and I fear that we may be losing more farmers in Ohio in the near future as they will not be able to properly care for the animals that they have devoted their lives to.