Ohio care board reverses veal decision, allows calves to turn around

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PHOTO: The standing-room-only crowd at the April 5 Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board meeting included a sea of white T-shirts that urged “Let Them Turn Around,” a reference to proposed veal standards.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Before a standing-room-only crowd, members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board voted unanimously to re-insert language that will require veal calves to be housed in turn-around facilities after 2017.

The board’s vote reverses a decision from its March 1 meeting that allowed veal calves to be housed in independent, non-turn-around stalls for the calves’ first 10 weeks.

The motion to re-insert the turn-around language was made by board member Jeff Wuebker, of Versailles. He was the same board member who asked for it to be taken out at the March meeting.

Subcommittee feedback

Wuebker based his motion on feedback the board had received from members of the veal subcommittee, who said the “turn around” language did not provide a significant advantage in production or economics, and requested it be re-insurted.

Board member Dominic Marchese said he supported reinserting the turn-around language “after hearing comments from veal subcommittee members that it really was not a help to them.”

The vote satisfied a host of public attendees who came dressed in special shirts that read “let them turn-around.”

“We were very pleased with the decision today,” said Karen Minton, Humane Society of the United States’ Ohio director.

Not alone. In addition to HSUS, some agricultural organizations also supported adoption of the turn-around language, including the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, and American Veal Association.

Several members of the Ohioans for Humane Farms, which led HSUS’ 2010 ballot initiative, expressed their appreciation to the board, for requiring calves of all ages to be able to turn around.

Marchese moved to amend the veal standard to allow veal farmers until 2020 — three more years — to phase out current housing practices. But the motion failed with only his, as well as and board member Jerry Lahmers, voting in favor.

He said he thought additional time would allow farmers to prepare economically, and would be more in line with the phaseout allowances given to swine and poultry farmers.

Enough time

State Veterinarian Tony Forshey, who is a board member, said veal farmers shouldn’t have trouble making the conversion in time.

“The AVA and the OVMA have all adopted into the 2017 (agreement) and I personally feel that the (veal) conversion time in the next six years is ample time to do that,” he said.

Although the meeting drew a large crowd, officials kept business on track and most who spoke pledged their continued support of the board and its work.

“There are always going to be people who don’t agree with what we’ve done,” said Ohio Director of Agriculture James Zehringer, who chairs the livestock care board.

But he called the board’s work “giant steps” to give farmers security about the future of agriculture in Ohio.

“Things aren’t going to change in the middle of the road.”

What’s next

The board’s next meeting is April 19, when members will review e-comments on the camelid (llama and alpaca) section, and review the final version of the equine standards. It must also vote on the final version to send to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, or JCARR.

The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, which includes five state representatives and five state senators, will review each proposed rule to make sure it doesn’t conflict with another rule-making agency, or doesn’t exceed the scope of the OLCSB’s statutory authority.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is already thinking ahead to the education that will be needed after the standards are finalized, according to Andy Ware, director of communications.

Plans are to develop a species-specific booklet that highlights specifics, and then focus on getting the information into key people’s hands, like veterinarians, Extension educators, Farm Bureau organization directors and commodity group leaders — the people livestock owners turn to when they have questions.

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

25 Comments

  1. Butch says:

    I bet Jack Fischer has already post on Wayne’s Facebook wall I sold out the veal farmers now you buy Ted and my dinner tonight LOOK OUT POULTRY FARMERS your next Jack and Jim are looking for a free dinner from Wayne

  2. Terry Ward says:

    Poor Butch…
    He’s still thinkin’ the Hsus is a government -sanctioned covert black-ops group dedicated to the destruction of agriculture.

    And Tom Vilsack is Wayne Pacelle’s honey-puppet, right?

  3. John Mooter says:

    Just a small step. Eventually, when more adopt a plant based diet, we will have a more humane world, less obesity, and more land for real food!

  4. okiestorm1 says:

    It takes more land and water to raise crops then it dose to raise livestock, so more land for real food don’t think so. the vegans and animal activest do not have a right to tell anyone what they can and can’t eat.The truth about Pacelle is he never had a pet of any kind in his life so who is he to tell anyone how to raise thier animals!

  5. okiestorm1 says:

    I do think calfs should be able to turn around in thier pen but they need to be housed by thier self for thier own protection.I also think the farmers and ranchers and our gov. better start standing up against HSUS like Nebraska did and missouri is starting to do or HSUS will take over and there will no longer be any livestock or pets!

  6. John Mooter says:

    I think;therefore, I am vegan. How ridiculous it is to drink another animal’s milk, and pur male cows through such brutality for veal, an unhealthly “food”.

    • Terry Ward says:

      John, your decision to become a vegan is to be respected.

      But to demand this of others is unrealistic and impractible.

      This forum is primarily a place for farmers and ranchers.
      To come here and preach veganism is, I believe, irresponsible.

      Not only do vegans represent less than 1% of the population, these are people who feed 99% of the population.

      We must fight inhumane conditions in farms with all our energy.

      But to fight to put farmers out of business is also inhumane.

      And an unbelievably ridulous waste of time and energy.

      Fight the bad farmers, support the good ones.

      This is the only way to help animals.

      • John Mooter says:

        The only way to help animals is to stop eating them. If meat and dairy products were not subsidized by the government, they would cost much more. Farmers need not go out of business; just grow plants to feed humans instead of feeding plants to cows and pigs. It is irresponsible to keep promoting a diet that is unhealthy for humans, the planet, and is unnecessary. Please read “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I support organic farmers every day by eating organic produce. I am in my 60s, take no medications. There is no humane way to kill an animal, and veal is by no means ever humane. It is a brutal industry that puts animals through hell. Hopefully, some day, it will end.

  7. John Mooter says:

    Crops are raised FOR livestock. The majority of corn, for example, is raised for animal agriculture, which is destroying this planet. Perhaps you could do better research before commenting? It takes 10 pounds of plant food or more to make a pound of beef!

  8. Terry Ward says:

    Again John, your personal choice is to be respected.
    But you are not in a position to decide for others what is healthy and what is not .
    I also am in my 60s, take no medications and am extraordinary healthy.
    But I am not a vegan..

    Does this mean my experience cancels yours, or does it mean we each have a personal experience specific to ourselves?

    I am not going to debate this with you any further.

    Your position on this subject allows the anti-humane movement to paint all animal welfare/ rights people as ‘fanatics’ and I personally resent this.
    You are entitled to your opinion but in my opinion, your position causes irreparable harm to the humane movement.

    • John Mooter says:

      You label me a fanatic, but some day, when all of the research reaches everybody, you will be proven wrong. Drinking the milk of another animal is fanatical, and absurd. No other species does this.A vegan with heart disease and high cholesterol is practically nonexistent.

      The latest nutritional research favors a plant based, low fat diet. Read John McDoughall, MD, Michael Klaper, MD, Michael Gregor, MD, Caldwell Esselstein MD,, Dean Ornish MD, Brenda Davis RD, Neal Barnard MD,and countless others. These are not “fanatical” vegans, but doctors and nutritionists!Their numbers grow and grow.They all began their research as meat and dairy consumers, but no longer do so after their scientific discoveries.

      Since meat eating is so destructive, (and if people knew how they were treated and what they are fed!) why not move to a plant based diet? I support organic plant based agriculture.

      It is time to evolve.

      • Terry Ward says:

        I did not say you were a ‘fanatic’.
        I said that I respected your position.
        But I will NOT, as I said, argue with you.

      • TY says:

        I think sex outside of marriage is unhealthy–we end up spreading STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, etc…We should ban it. “It is time to evolve”
        We should outlaw alchohol…..its bad for you…”Its time to evolve”
        We ought to outlaw R rated movies…they are bad for you…”Its time to evolve”
        We ought to outlaw cigarrettes..its bad for you…”Its time to evolve”
        We should outlaw Automobiles…they can kill people…”Its time to evolve”
        ………………
        Dont shove YOUR morality down OUR throats.

  9. OHChick says:

    Veal is the black-eye of the meat industry. According to the most recent data, American’s only eat less than one pound per year. Five other states have banned the inherently cruel veal crates and even mega-retailer Costco has recently changed policy to only purchase un-tethered veal. The OLCSB acted progressively in their vote to allow calves enough room to turn around – it’s where the market is trending. In Ohio, the majority of calves being raised for veal are already beeing produced using an untethered system with great success showing once again that the Board’s vote was in step with progress.

  10. OhioEater says:

    As someone who stood proudly among the over 100 Ohioans who attended this Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board meeting, I was happy to see the board show some sense and vote unanymously to require that veal calves be raised in larger enclosures that allow them to turn around. Despite the fact that this won’t go into effect for another six years, we have to see this as a victory for people who want more rights for animals. I want to say thank you to the Board for their sound decision. As an Ohio consumer, I am happy to hear that the animals in my state are starting to be treated a little more humanely.

    As consumers, we need to be aware of how the decisions we make effect our health, the people who produce those goods, and our country as a whole. As people have already pointed out in these comments, a helpful thing to do is research what the dairy industry actually is, how dairy affects our bodies, and what other industries it feeds into, namely the veal industry. To eliminate dairy from our diets, we can do a lot of good for our own bodies and feelings, as well as those of a great many other animals. In so many realms, we vote with our dollars, and we must be careful to be aware of what we are voting for. We need to do all we can to end cruelty against all animals, whether it be humans, farm animals, or any other living beings.

    • John Mooter says:

      It is great to hear some common sense in here.Veal is a direct result of milk. There are many many scientific studies showing that humans are not meant to drink another animal’s milk. We need milk as babies, but when we get past a certain age, we no longer need it. We put cows through endless misery for our addictive habits of dairy and meat. Veal,which is actually banned in certain restaurants, is an abomination. We are proud when we vote to allow an animal to turn around? What a sick society we have become. We can wean ourselves off of meat, eggs and dairy, and live longer, more productive lives.MAy all beings be happy and free from suffering. Feed all of the crops to humans, not cows!
      As OhioEater says, we can vote with our dollars, and we do so 3 times a day, every day.

      • Kathy says:

        You are targeting the wrong people. Those who want to eat meat will, there is no changing that and you shouldn’t try just as you should not be told to change who and what you eat. The thing to target for change are the giant GMO mono crops which are unfit to eat and are ruining the earth with unsafe genetics, pesticides, herbicides and GMO cross pollination of organic crops. Without GMO crops there will be a natural decline in the amount of factory raised livestock as they transition to organics and smaller family farms raising livestock on pasture.

  11. John Mooter says:

    What you say is correct, but small organic farms cannot sustain the appetite for meat and dairy in this country. thus we have these mass produced products.I believe that people can change, and are. With all of the information coming out in the past 20 years,many are changing. What you see in a grocery store today is quite different than 10 years ago.

    You are trying to change people from mass produced to organic; I Am working to go from animal agriculture to plant based. I

    • Kathy says:

      Consider the dandelion,cut the leaves down to the ground and it will be gone for a little while but without pulling out the roots it will just come back. The root of the problem here is the monoculture of GMO plants. If you only knew how bad GMO corn and soy are for the body and how they are ruining heirloom open pollinated varieties, what GMO canola has already done, what GMO cotton and rice have done, and what GMO alflafa is predicted to do, and now they are working on apples, wheat, spinach….. what these things really do to the environment, and how harmful they are to humans + animal alike you wouldn’t mock me. Change the crops and how they are grown and you change the eating habits. Got to work at the root of the evil, the great herbicide company. Keep GMO’s out of the food and we will be healthier and happier for it.

      • John Mooter says:

        I am not mocking you, and I do not disagree with you on that issue. If people ate correctly, this would never have happened. These products are the result of what consumers are willing to buy. I buy NO products that have GMO’s that I am aware of, mostly eat at home. When I dine out, I go to a vegan cafe that is all organic, mostly local produce.

        By going organic vegan, we are putting and end to GMO’s, animal slaughter and cruelty, and are improving the environment drastically. I see people going this direction every day. They feel better.

        The vegan community in my city promotes organic, locally grown produce, and encourages people to eat less processed foods as well. The new “oatmeal” at McDonald’s has more fat and calories than a Snicker’s bar! Only Mc Donald’s could ruin oats!

        I appreciate your efforts to expose GMO’s. “Frankenfoods” are a bad thing.

  12. Kathy says:

    And there we have our divide. This is what the great evil herbicide/pesticide company wants. They want folks to argue over dietary matters(veggie, meat, meat veggie) instead of focusing on them. Mean while they are engineering new GMO lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, bananas and papaya, they are sneaking these things in all the time. Start by protecting our food, get rid of the GMO’s. If there were no GMO’s there would be less poison corn and soy to feed animals, putting more livestock on pasture, which would mean less livestock, which would mean fewer CAFO’s, which would mean smaller farms with fewer animals, which would mean higher costs for meat products, which would mean more folks voluntarily adopting a healthier diet and in turn giving the farmers a better wage for raising their smaller numbers of healthier livestock and a reason for farm humanely. But if The Great herbicide pesticide company is not pressured to stop corrupting our food supply and GMO products stay in the picture nobody wins. The longer GMO’s stay around the faster our veggie and grain seed stocks will become contaminated by cross pollination. Organically grown veggies will become a thing of the past. It is more important than ever to first stop the GMO’s! Everything else will fall in line. Just in this short time now the Great evil herbicide/pesticide company has probably already corrupted 10 more types of veggies and invented another more powerful and poisonous pesticide or herbicide to spray them with, sued another farmer for having “their patented DNA in the farmers corn” and patented another open pollinated, heirloom veggie seed to call their own.

  13. John Mooter says:

    Bottom line: encourage people to buy organic. If nobody buys this stuff, it will go away. Whole Foods allows no GMO foods in their stores, organic or otherwise. This is a good thing.

    As bad as GMOs is “cannibalizing” livestock and poultry by feeding them “rendered” meat, sometimes from their own species! And how many farmers feed their cows fish? How much puss is in milk today? This is preposterous.

    It seems best to leave meat and dairy in the past, where it belongs. We know too much to continue this absurdity.

  14. John Mooter says:

    Meat, eggs and dairy products stink….They are bad for our health, the environment, and is needlessly inhumane. We can eat plants and be happy. We can make a world that is better. We have that capability. We need not continue this absurdity. It is our choice, with each meal.

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