WOOSTER, Ohio — The agreement reached this summer between Ohio’s agriculture leaders, Gov. Ted Strickland and the Humane Society of the United States on the care of livestock still stands — at least according to the three main parties who formed it.
Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich was not part of the agreement, and has not yet announced his decision on its proposals. He is still putting together his administration and won’t take office until January.
But the parties in power say they are moving forward with what they agreed to do, some of which has a deadline of Dec. 31.
“Our commitment to the agreement wasn’t effected by the election,” said Joe Cornely, senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
He said Kasich’s stance is not yet known, and is something that will be up to him and his new staff.
“The agreement was a three-party deal and how Governor Kasich will choose to view the agreement, we have no idea,” Cornely said. “That will be entirely a question for his administration.”
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS, spoke about the agreement during a news conference at the statehouse Oct. 26. He called upon Strickland to enact legislation prohibiting the ownership of exotic animals in Ohio — one of the provisions in the agreement.
Pacelle said he didn’t expect action to come until after elections, after which he anticipated the governor will act on his promise.
He said any part of the agreement not fulfilled will break the agreement, and potentially bring about a farm animal ballot initiative — something the agreement was designed to prevent.
“We stated when the agreement was announced in this building that we wanted to see all of these reforms advanced by the end of the year,” he said. “And if they were, then we would not proceed with a farm animal welfare ballot measure.”
Strickland’s press secretary, Amanda Wurst, said the governor’s administration “will continue moving forward on every aspect of the agreement.”
Per the exotic animals, she said “the governor has said he is committed to ensuring rules are in place by the end of the year on the exotic (issue),” which could come in the form of an executive order.