LETTER: Don’t kid yourself, Ohio farmers, HSUS just getting started



On Aug. 1, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review permitted the final two proposed Ohio livestock care standards, layer hens and veal, to become rule in Ohio. So, it is over. Or is it?

Several members of JCARR expressed their concern with the negative “unintended consequences” this rule will impose on the independent veal farmers in Ohio. These legislators pledged their support to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Farm Bureau in finding ways to assist these family veal farmers to minimize the negative impact this rule will have on their farms.

In 2009, Ohio voters stated they wanted “minimum standards” for livestock care established by objective, measurable criteria. But the ODA stated at the July 11 JCARR hearing that “Ohio seeks to have the most progressive standard in the nation.”

Sen. LaRose then asked the state veterinarian, “you mean to tell me that we will be so ‘progressive’ that we will drive one-half of the veal production out of Ohio?”

Some question if veal farmers were singled out. Here are the facts:

The veal community was not involved in the “Buckeye Compromise.”

Under the adopted standards: – A Holstein bull destined for a veal market may never be tethered.

— A Holstein bull (heifer or cow) in a dairy operation may be tethered for an indeterminate length of time.

— A Holstein bull or steer in a beef operation may be tethered for an indeterminate length of time.

— Any dairy farmer must never tether a bull calf prior to sending that calf to market, as that bull calf is destined to a veal market. He may tether that calf if it is going to a beef or dairy market.

— Veal calves must be able to ‘turn around’ at all times when no other species or class of bovine is required to.

— Veal calves must be in a group pen when no other species or class of bovine is required to.

— Other species and classes of bovine include “prohibit excessive competition” and veal does not. (Group pens are proven to increase competition.)

— Veal farmers have until 2017 to make a conversion, gestation stalls have until 2025, and existing layer facilities have no deadline.

This rule is not just an “inconvenience” for the independent veal farmers in Ohio, which represent over one-half of the production in Ohio. They have said that they do not anticipate continuing to raise veal Ohio after 2017. Their other option is to become “feeders” for large, integrated entities that own the animals.

The 800-pound gorilla is still in the room. HSUS and their allies are not going away; they will be back for more. Then what is the Ohio ag community going to do? What are you going to do when it is your turn?

It is not over. It has just started. To quote a recent OFB article, “What is the better way forward?” Because this one is not working.

Bob Cochrell
Burbank, Ohio

(The author farms in northern Wayne County. For the past year, he has served on the OLCSB veal subcommittee.)


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  1. To quote a recent OFB article, “What is the better way forward?” A better way is do what I said from the start FIGHT FIGHT AS ONE take out the enemy Dont make BACK ROOM DEAL with them HSUS will take us all out one at a time because we will not stand as one

  2. I agree with Butch. We as farmers and ranchers and any one that ownes an animal of any kind need to stand together and fight HSUS and thier AR,vegan flunkies.We have got to fight them and get them out of our state and keep them out.These groups have one thing one thier agenda and that is a vegan world,no animal human contact at all! If you would please join me on FB,Billie Welty, I have some stuff to tell you about HSUS.

  3. whats bad is they are NOT just attacking the veal calves and farmers but us horse owners as well. We can’t haul a horse in any trailer deisned for cattle, um livestock trailers that the little horse owners have are made for both cattle and horses, so if they have to take their horse to the vets, they cant because of their trailer. So its not over yet, the hsus will TRY anything, they allready tried to make it hard for rodeo stock contractors, but they came back and told them NO on certain things, and even if they can’t haul their horses in rodeo POTS, they still haul them in straight load trailers.

  4. What is bad is that they are NOT just attacking veal calves, poultry, horse owners, but also dog breeders, exotic bird breeders, and ANY animal breeder/feeder facility! The HSUS is involved in an all out no holds barred war against ANY and ALL animal uses. The sooner everyone realizes this and we all work together we can FIGHT these vegans every time they propose ANY regulations on ANY animal uses. They are going to use the inexperienced general public to vote in amendments and regulations that will eventually outlaw all our animal uses. It makes total sense for all animal interest groups to support each other. That is why I post here. I do not have an agricultural facility, but I SUPPORT all agricultural animal uses!!

    • HSUS has proven effective at ‘divide and conquer’ of Ohio agriculture.
      It is now divided between the ‘winners’ and the ‘losers’.
      What the commodity groups do not recognize is that compromising the Truth of what we do and why we do it, places agriculture on the same field as HSUS: basing what we do on perception and spin. This compromises all of Ohio’s Ag community, we all lose. Plus HSUS is much better at spin than we are. I liked Alan Guebert’s comment last week: “It takes a carpenter to build a barn, but any jackass can kick it over.” What foundation are we going to build on if it is not based on Truth?

      Call your State legislators. Ron Amstutz is already looking at the veal issue. Call Gov. Kasich. Lt. Gov. Taylor has already weighed in on how this will put farmers out of business, contact her office. DO NOT CONTACT ODA! They have already bought into the Big Ag’s Compromise.
      “We will either hang together, or hang separately.”
      HSUS is good either way, and they are patient enough to wait for the rest of us.


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