The Ohio House voted 90 to 0 last week to establish the Ohio Livestock Standards Board. At the same time, Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle was in Ohio to kick off another constitutional ballot issue. The issue would require the farm standards board to ban extreme confinement of pigs, chickens and other animals for most of their lives, prohibit using sick or injured cows for human consumption, and eliminate inhumane euthanasia methods.
Under the ballot issue, farm owners or operators would be barred from tethering or confining any calf raised for veal, pig during pregnancy, or egg-laying hen, on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending his or her limbs, or turning around freely. A half-dozen exceptions are listed, including ones for fairs, rodeos and 4-H shows.
If 402,275 valid signatures of Ohio registered voters are collected by June 29, the proposal will be placed on the November ballot as a statewide constitutional issue. Pacelle expects to have thousands of volunteers hitting the streets to gather signatures. The Ohio Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations that supported Issue 2 last fall have vowed to fight the HSUS proposal.