Ohio board’s veal standard drawing lots of comments

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board could easily have more than 2,000 comments to review on their proposed new veal calf standard.

As of March 10, more than 1,750 public comments had been submitted, said Mike Bailey, the board’s executive director.

Public comments on the new standard, which was approved in a 6-5 vote at the March 1 meeting, will continue through March 15.

The standard can be viewed on the care board’s Web site, www.ohiolivestockcarestandardsboard.gov, and comments can be submitted electronically to Ecomments@agri.ohio.gov.

Big issue

The biggest concern in the standard is language that allows veal farmers to continue using non-turnaround calf confinement for the animal’s first 10 weeks of age.

Veal farmers and several members of the veal subcommittee argue they need this early confinement for the animal’s well-being, and because transferring to group housing for calves of all ages is cost prohibitive. Others, including veal subcommittee chairman Gaylord Barkman, maintain group housing for calves of all ages is more costly, but manageable.

Bailey and staff at the Ohio Department of Agriculture currently are assessing the best way to share the high volume of comments with board members. In addition to the primary e-mail address, he’s also seeing about 30-40 comments a day to the care board’s main address.

“We’re just trying to figure out the best way to make sure that the board fully receives these comments,” he said.

Time to review

Board members will have at least two full weeks to review the comments before they meet again, April 5. At that meeting, the standard can be updated, or approved as it is, depending on what the board decides.

Hearings

Once the standard is approved, the public will once again have the opportunity for comment, during a public hearing, to be held at the ODA. The other specie standards also will be part of this hearing, with the date yet to be determined.

A separate hearing will be held March 17 for the documents General Considerations for the Care and Welfare of Livestock, and Disabled and Distressed Livestock. Both items were given board approval at previous meetings, and are now in the rule making process, as required by the state’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

Bailey said the veal comments contain a mix of form letters, and quite a few individual letters from citizens. Most appear to be “overwhelmingly objecting to the board’s action,” he said.

Some organizations, including the state’s largest animal rights organizations, have encouraged their members to submit letters to the board opposing the standard.

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

6 Comments

  1. TOM says:

    How many live in Ohio? How many are payed by hsus?

  2. sookie says:

    I wasn’t paid. Live in Ohio.

  3. FED-UP &PO'd farmer says:

    When considering all these comments, the board ethically and responsibly must consider the following: How many of these people commenting have ACTUALLY RAISED VEAL CALVES ON A COMMERCIAL BASIS; how many of these commenters ACTUALLY CONSUME VEAL; and how many of these commenters ACTUALLY MAKE A SIGNIFICANT INCOME FROM THE SALE OF VEAL.
    ALL non-biased studies have proven that not only are individual stalls BEST for baby calves-but-THE CALVES IN NO WAY ARE MORE STRESSED THAN THOSE IN GROUP SETTINGS!!!! The board ethically HAS TO completely disregard any comment based on emotion instead of scientific fact-PERIOD.
    The board must also consider the impact on consumers their actions will make. The truth is that virtually none of these commenters actually eat veal, so that the rise in veal prices would have NO impact on them whatsoever. It is EXTREMELY EASY to pass regulations when it has absolutely no effect on the ones pushing for the passage, and they obviously have NO consideration for those who eat veal-infact, if you read their “anti-veal” propaganda, they liken veal-eaters to “baby murderers”…that is the sickness of their minds.
    Finally, the board must ethically consider the impact of regulations on veal producers themselves. Again, it is EXTREMELY EASY to completely disregard the financial impact of regulations when it doesnt pertain to those pushing for the passage of the regulation. The veal producers have BEYOND ANY DOUBT testified that these regulations would put them out of business.
    (by regulations I mean trying to outlaw individual stalls or tethering of calves-the mandates that AR activists want)
    Once again, we see the true colors of the animal rights activists…they want things THEIR WAY OR NO WAY-irregardless of what this means to farmers, consumers and the animals themselves. Of course, when you realize the ULTIMATE GOAL is the total elimination of all animal ownership, it is obviouse that this is a clear stepping stone to that. If veal producers buckle, dairy producers would have very little market for their bull calves, and most would end up being shot at birth and thrown into the compost pile. With the world shortage of food-especially protein based food, this would be a pathetic waste of a nutritious food…but the AR saddistically applaud it-another step to forcing veganism onto people.
    If the board goes by what they were supposedly formed to do, they HANDS DOWN would reject any proposed mandate by ANY commenter to outlaw individual stalls/tethering of calves, and allow veal producers to continue raising calves the way the have-using scientifically proven best-method practices. The board was NOT set up to give into emotion-based arguements-such as the majority of these commenters propose. Tragically, the board has given in to AR trash and sold out Ohio’s hog producers…I guess we will see if they sell-out our veal producers.

  4. Julian says:

    I think that anyone who submits a comment to the board, and makes a lot of noise about anything have to do with agriculture, should have to actually work on a farm at least once in their life, been around farmers and ranchers, grown something other then flowers, and taken care of animals bigger then they are. HSUS feeds on people’s want to be politically correct, and makes them think that all farmers are rednecks who don’t care. So instead of just sitting in your comfy lounge chair in your house, and being sucked into every little sall sob story ad that comes on your T.V. get out there and see how hard it really is, I dare you, just like I dare veagans to try and force feed Lions an all tofu diet.

  5. Paul Cibula says:

    It is a shame that those who stand up for merciful treatment of animals are so vilified in these angry comments. This is a humane issue, pure and simple. There are two factions here; those who think of animals as commodities and those who respect that they are sentient beings.

  6. Regan H says:

    Animals are food no getting around it.

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