Sen. Wilson: Issue 2 makes sense, vote yes

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Editor:
As someone who grew up down the road from a dairy farm in Belmont County, I have great respect for Ohio’s farmers. If you ever need a straight forward answer to a question, just ask a farmer.

You can count on folks who work hard and play by the rules to have a lot of good old-fashioned common sense. The same kind of common sense went into drafting State Issue 2, which I am proud to have jointly sponsored in the Ohio Senate with my colleague Sen. Bob Gibbs.

A “yes” vote on Issue 2 would set up the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board chaired by the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture with representation from farmers, consumers, veterinarians, food safety experts, agriculture colleges, farm organizations and the humane society.

It simply says that Ohioans, rather than out-of-state interests, should be the ones deciding the best animal care policies for Ohio. Out-of-state groups would like nothing better than to impose rigid and impractical regulations on how poultry and livestock are housed and cared for in Ohio.

The result would be devastating to farmers who would go out of business and to consumers who would have to pay higher food prices.

With agriculture representing a $93 billion business in Ohio, we cannot allow that to happen. Some animal rights groups have already succeeded in placing new restrictions on egg producers in California.

According to a study by the University of California, those regulations will likely lead to the elimination of almost all of California’s egg industry within just a few years. That’s a sobering thought when you consider Ohio is the nation’s second largest egg producer.

Whether they raise cattle, pigs or poultry, Ohio farmers understand one simple truth: their livelihood depends on producing healthy animals for safe and high quality food. They also believe in treating animals well because it’s the right thing to do.

That’s why farmers from every corner of our great state are supporting Issue 2 and a new framework for regulating livestock and animal care based on facts and science rather than scare tactics.

I hope you will join me in voting “yes” on Issue 2. It is the common sense approach to regulating Ohio’s No. 1 industry.

Sen. Jason Wilson
(Ohio Sen. Jason Wilson, D-Columbiana, is a member of the Ohio Senate Agriculture Committee.)

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3 COMMENTS

  1. In Ohio if someone does not like how farm animals are treated they have a right to buy their own, a right to buy ‘free range’ eggs, a right to choose a vegan lifestyle. Obviously many don’t object or the eggs would not sell in grocery stores, to restuarants, to bakeries, etc. Why do some people think they have the right to dictate the ownership and use of animals to others? HSUS thinks they have this right and I sincerely hope Issue 2 passes by a large margin to show animal rights activists and HSUS that Ohioans do believe in freedom- not just their own but others’ freedom to choose and own also.

  2. My problem with this constitutional amendment is the excessive power it places in the hands of a 13 member group of non-elected bureaucrats. This constitutional amendment places in the board’s hands the power to mandate whatever they choose, and it is the Department of Ag that will implement and enforce those decisions of the board. (see the text of proposed amendment at the Ohio Secretary of State page http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/IssueProcBallotBd/BallotBoard.aspx#Issues). The text of the amendment includes “consider factors that include, but are not limited to,” which gives the board authority far beyond the scope of its intended purpose. In the text “agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being” is the part that will thwart HSUS and their cronies.

    This issue should not have been a constitutional amendment. The same objective to thwart PETA and HSUS could have been accomplished by including the key words “agricultural best management practices for such care and well-being” in section 900 of the Ohio Revised Code.

    The big question for me is, “What did it take to twist the arms of all the members of both the House and Senate to make them take such a draconian measure?” If we change the Constitution every time the wind blows from the wrong direction, what value remains in it? What next? Change the US Constitution to remove free speech and religious freedom?

    VOTE NO on ISSUE 2

    Fight organized crime, Don’t re-elect anyone!

  3. If you worked to thwart HSUS and PeTA you obviously did not succeed or we would not need Issue 2 to keep Ohio protected from outside animal rights interest groups to be able to provide safe affordable food to Ohio people while helping (not hurting as HSUS would) the economy, jobs and feeding people.

    Vote YES on Issue 2

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