Debate Heating Up on Ohio's Proposition 2

Constitutional amendment will be decided by voters Tuesday.

Published on: Oct 30, 2009

Issue 2 in Ohio is seen as being a preemptive move to avoid having strict animal-care regulations forced upon the state's producers by organizations from outside the state. Among the opponents to Issue 2 are the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Alliance, the Ohio Sierra Club and, of course, the Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS calls Issue 2 a big agribusiness power grab, spearheaded by the Ohio Farm Bureau and special interests of the factory farm industry.

 

Farm Bureau spokesperson Joe Cornely says Ohio's 4,000 farmers have the most at stake in Issue 2. He says the gestation crates that HSUS opposes and have outlawed elsewhere, are common managerial tools for both small and large producers. Cornely is quick to point out that 98% of all farms are family farms, not the factory farms or mega-farms the HSUS would like voters to think of.

 

Issue 2 is a creation of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the Ohio Pork Producers Council and some other livestock and sportsmen's organizations to regulate the care and treatment of farm animals in the state. It amends the Ohio Constitution to set standards for livestock and poultry care by establishing a 12-member board to make sure those standards are met.