Farmer calls Ohio veal rule ‘unreasonable, unlawful’

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The state’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review advanced additional standards on livestock care during a hearing held July 11.

The rule package originally included standards for veal, dairy, beef, swine, layers, poultry, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas and equine — approved in April by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

But the layer hen standards, and the veal standards, have both been temporarily pulled from consideration. Members of the layer subcommittee wanted the layer standards removed, to re-evaluate the definition of “existing farms” and any exemptions such farms should receive.

Veal standards were ultimately pulled, after a Burbank, Ohio, veal farmer and some of the JCARR members raised questions about how the proposed standards might affect the state’s veal industry, and welfare of veal calves.

“Everything was approved that was submitted,” said Andy Ware, communications director for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “There were a number of questions about the veal standards and in response to that, the department pulled those rules for now.”

Challenges the rules

The farmer who challenged the new rules, Bob Cochrell, also is a member of the veal subcommittee. In written and oral comments, he suggested the new veal rules would be “unreasonable” or “unlawful,” violating three of the four requirements JCARR must consider when deciding if a new rule is acceptable.

Cochrell provided a lengthy and detailed explanation of the charges, basically centered on concerns he has that the current rules were made to satisfy animal rights interests, and not the interest of the veal calves, or the 30-plus farmers who said they’ll cease to raise veal if the new rules become law.

Cochrell claims some details of the standards, like deadlines to transition to group housing, were set to satisfy “the agreement” made in June 2010 with the Humane Society of the United States and Ohio’s commodity groups. The Ohio Veal Association was not included when the agreement was made.

“It is my contention that the OLCSB has been dramatically influenced during their deliberations by outside, special interest groups that came to a closed door ‘agreement’ on June 30, 2010,” he told JCARR.

Conflicting recommendations

He cites as proof, a care board meeting held in November, when the veal subcommittee presented its recommendations on veal treatment, while at the same time, department of agriculture staff presented an “alternate” set of recommendations, that, according to Cochrell, “mirrors that of the special interest group’s ‘agreement.'”

Cochrell and his supporters on the veal subcommittee argue an “arbitrary” transition to group housing will be worse for the calves, and their bottom lines as independent veal producers.

But the veal subcommittee chairman, Gaylord Barkman, supports group housing as a viable option and has told the care board, group housing has proven successful for his company — Buckeye Veal Services.

Ware said the questions will be reviewed and the department will provide “a more thorough briefing” on the veal standards. The board intends to re-submit the veal standards to JCARR at the July 19 board meeting, he said.

About the Author

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties. More Stories by Chris Kick


  1. okiestorm1 says:

    I would raly like to know why HSUS has so much stroke that they can come into a state and demand the state dose what HSUS wants to start with. This is not a group ran by the govt.they are not for animal right, they could careless what happens to the animal, they want to shut down everything that has to do with human animal contact and turn this into a vegen country along with PETA.

  2. Butch says:



  3. okiestorm1 says:

    I agree,Butch!!! We have got to join together if we want to keep our animals and our way of life, we got to fight to keep these groups out of our state, nebraska did it so can OHIO. Missouri is fighting them with every thing they got,i wish whole states could join together in the cause to fight HSUS n PETA, that would pit them in thier place once n for all.

  4. Terry says:

    Let the voters decide. They are the consumers.

    • FED-UP &PO'd farmer says:

      Consumers have ALWAYS had the choice of how they want their food raised-it is called “nich” markets…even veal. If you research this, you will find many farms who even raise and sell “veal” “on the cow”-for those who think that calves should be allowed to stay with their mothers. The REAL problem is that 1) A very few but very vocal group of people think that it is cruel to eat animals-irregardless of how they are raised; 2) Those that DO consume meat want the CHEAPEST cost and will NOT pay any more for “special” raised veal-keep in mind that farmers ARE NOT the ones who are able to set prices…they get what the market pays them ONLY (MANY times below their cost of production): 3) Farming is a business-it consists of raising safe, nutritious food for consumers and allowing the farmer to make a living and even a profit from their business-just as in ANY other business…yet somehow, some pathetically nasty, arrogant people feel that no one should be able to earn a living or profit from the sale of animal based food.

      Yes-the CONSUMER should be the deciding factor-Putting their “money where their mouth is” when purchasing veal/animal products…NOT-repeat-NOT voters. Most voters do not even eat veal nor have they EVER even seen calves, let alone raise them. They are COMPLETELY clueless about animal farming in any way, shape or form-therefore completely incompetant to make ANY regulations on farmers-(not to mention the infringment of the constitutional rights of farmers as citizens of the USA) It is a severe injustice and abomination that livestock farmers are allowed to be violated and controlled by government regulations simply based ONLY on EMOTIONAL feelings from some people who have absolutely NOTHING to do with farmers-especially when they ALREADY have the right to purchase whatever food they prefer…NO-repeat-NO OTHER BUSINESS HAS BEEN INVADED LIKE LIVESTOCK FARMERS HAVE-NONE!!!!

  5. okiestorm1 says:

    Terry, most of the voters have no idea what it takes to raise livestock, have never been around livestock in thier life and still think that meat n eggs come from a store.They think every thing HSUS tells them is the truth,and they think thier donations to HSUS actualy goes to help animals!

    • Jake says:

      The fact of the matter is, consumers are now seeing what goes into raising animals for food and they don’t like it.

    • Terry says:

      I am not so sure I buy that statement. I am 57, the baby boom generation, the largest generation in the US. Almost every baby boomer I have talked to still remembers having a grandparent or familey member that farmed and spending weekends or summers at a farm. Maybe that is the problem we remember smaller farms and better animal husbandry and would like it to be that way again. And to the PO’D farmer I would say the trucking industry has been invaded pretty bad. In fact because the the farmers have complained so much about Mexico putting tariffs on some of their products & putting pressure on the Federal Motor Carrier Dept. & Govn’t to move forward with NAFTA there will soon be Mexician Truck drivers driving past the 20 miles previous aloud. American Trucker will loose jobs & Mexican truckers do not have the safety records of American truckers. No American truck driver is going to drive into Mexico, it’s to dangerous. So how fare it NAFTA in the trucking industry? And the AMerican taxpayers will be paying 2.5 Million dollars to pay for the little black boxs placed in the Mexican trucks to monitor them. Also some farmers get subsidy’s ( taxpayers money ) American truckers don’t. Welcome to the changing world. Guess we all just have deal with it.

  6. Jake says:

    What could be more “special interest” than the profit-driven special interest of making more money by cramming more calves into smaller spaces?

  7. KeithC says:

    According to HSUS’ website, they control the OLCSB.

    “Ohio moves to phase out cruel confinement of farm animals
    As part of an agreement brokered between The HSUS, leading agricultural groups, and former governor Ted Strickland, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board approved new standards to phase out veal crates and gestation crates for breeding pigs, and to prohibit new egg operations from confining laying hens in cages. “

    Direct pull, the link is included. They state that the new rules were part of the agreement.

  8. okiestorm1 says:

    You all say that farmers n ranchers make money off being cruel to animals,bull. HSUS makes money off off animals they bring in millions of donated money that is suposed to go to the care of animals when in fact it dose not.The donations go for lobbying,lawyers and in the pockets of thier employees Pacell is a millionair of the donated money. The fedural govt. is investigating HSUS, PETA and ASPCA st this moment for non payment of taxes, because they do not provide welfare to animals or to local shelters and rescues.The animals that these groups so call rescue are put down or they go into other rescues for those rescues to carefor without the help of HSUS or PETAs money.These groups are not out to help farmers n ranchers take better care of thier animals they are not in it for the animals,they are in it to destroy any animal human contact and make this a vegan country.

    • Terry says:

      I am not a big fan of HSUS. But you are wrong that none of their funds go to help animals. They run a couple large Sancutary’s. I personally helped in a SE OH county seizure (after a drug bust) of exotic animals & 150+ pitbulls. HSUS came and helped the county humane org. They have helped take care of a couple large seizures (100+) horses in Ark. & out west. They do spend alot of money on the federal legislation, lobbying. Agriculturial orgs & groups spend alot of money lobbying & personnel in those orgs make alot of money also. They know they will never stop people from eating meat. Agr groups try to scare & stir up farmers to believe those things. No matter if you are a meat eater or Vegan everyone should care amount animal welfare. I personally am tired of if you don’t agree with the Agr groups then you are trying to take away their living. Not true.

Leave a Comment

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.


Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Most Popular Stories

More News