What do you do when you want to keep special interest groups from telling your state what to do? You change the state constitution. But in a bit of irony it is a special interest group that is wanting the change to prevent another special interest group from doing their job.
State issue 2 will create a 13 member board that would set regulations on the care of livestock and poultry in Ohio.
This proposed amendment would:
1. Require the state to create the Livestock Care Standards Board to prescribe standards for animal care and well-being that endeavor to maintain food safety, encourage locally grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families.
2. Authorize this bipartisan board of thirteen members to consider factors that include, but are not limited to, agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being, biosecurity, disease prevention, animal morbidity and mortality data, food safety practices, and the protection of local, affordable food supplies for consumers when establishing and implementing standards.
3. 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.
4. Authorize the Ohio department that regulates agriculture to administer and enforce the standards established by the board, subject to the authority of the General Assembly.
What is interesting to note is under number 2 above that the standards are tested against how much it would cost to implement them. So while the board would come up with some standards the best ones really wouldn’t be used if they cost too much.
Basically what happened was that the Ohio agribusiness concern went to the legislature and asked for the amendment. The amendment, unlike a regular law, can’t be changed easily if at all once passed. That’s why they wanted an amendment.
Ohio agri-business leaders appealed to state lawmakers earlier this year to place the issue on the ballot after the Humane Society of the United States said it planned to work in Ohio to push for more humane treatment for livestock and poultry. Similar reforms are already in place in seven states, including Michigan.
The thrust of the Humane Society’s proposal would be rules that ban treatment of animals that prohibit them from turning around, lying down, standing up and fully extending their limbs.
Issue 2 supporters blast “out-of-state interests” for wanting to make changes that would harm the Ohio economy and put a kink in the food supply chain.
Why would Ohio agribusiness “blast” the Humane Society? Don’t they both have the animal welfare in mind? As we can see this issue is all about the money and not the animals. That’s why people should vote No on State Issue 2.
The pro Issue 2 side has put out two commercials recently. One claimed that passing State Issue 2 would not prevent contaminated foreign grown food from being brought into Ohio. Obviously that is not true since the text of the amendment doesn’t say that, recent incidents of contaminated food were from US growers and producers, and existing food safety laws exist to take care of such incidents when they happen.
The 2nd commercial shows Governor Stickland and other political leaders at a rally in support of the issue. It is simply an appeal to authority. If one looks at the text of the issue and the reasons why it was put on the ballot one can see it was about money and not protecting Ohio.