Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board discusses HSUS/Ag agreement


Editor’s Note: Click here for the story on public feedback during the board meeting. Various farmers and producers spoke, including commodity executives.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Perhaps to no one’s surprise, the July 27 meeting of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board spent considerable time addressing the recently formed agreement in Ohio that recommends certain livestock care practices be adopted.

The agreement, which was signed by Ohio’s major agriculture groups, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle, outlines a number of negotiated reforms and ultimately prevents a contentious ballot initiative from appearing on the fall ballot.

Members speak

The board began the meeting with member input, most of whom spoke favorably of the provisions, clearly stating, however, that they maintain their own governance and independence from the bargaining that went on.

“When this first came out, there was a lot of different interpretations and reactions to this,” said Ohio Director of Agriculture Robert Boggs, who also is chairman of the livestock care board. “We (the board) were not part of this agreement, we did not participate in this agreement and in no way is our authority undermined by the agreement.”

Still, many board members expressed they’re content with the agreement, and what it accomplished for the state.

“My initial reaction was that the rug had been pulled from underneath us,” said Robert Cole, board member from Gahanna. “But as I look at it now, I think it’s a blessing in disguise.”

A blessing, he said, because it takes some pressure off the board, prevents a ballot initiative and gains the support of HSUS, for the work of the care standards board.

Clear vision

Board member Jeff Wuebker, a swine farmer from Versailles, said he’s talked to poultry producers and consumers who support the agreement, because it gives them better sight into where the industry is headed.

“They feel this allows them to move forward and plan accordingly,” he said, adding that construction projects and five-year plans can now be completed — the same with pork farms. “I think it can set Ohio up as a leader, I think it will.”

Bobby Moser, agriculture dean for the Ohio State University, said he welcomes additional research that will likely be done as a result of the agreement.

“The research may reveal something that’s much different or much better,” he said.

Jerry Lahmers, board member from Newcomerstown, reminded the board of its separation from the agreement, even though the recommendations others agreed to are being considered.

“We are still a separate entity and our integrity is intact and we are not mandated to do anything (with this). But in the same process we need to remember the eight things that were in the ballot initiative that were in House Bill 414,” he said. “Those are the things that we’re mandated to operate on.”

Officially signed

Midway through the meeting, Boggs announced breaking news that all parties had officially signed the agreement, which is not legally binding, but provides good faith promises by the signees.

The board raised multiple questions about the proposals, including the timeline to enact some regulations by the close of the year. Boggs said it would ultimately be up to those on the agreement as to what they will accept, but said the board will make good-faith efforts to consider the recommendations in a timely manner.

Other questions dealt with definitions, such as what a “battery cage” really is, and how cages such as the larger, “enriched cage” may be viewed.

To be considered

No votes were taken on the recommendations, but the board indicated it will use the recommendations in evaluating its own drafts of animal care standards.

“These recommendations will be looked at as other recommendations are looked at,” said State Veterinarian Tony Forshey, who currently is working with the board and its subcommittees to develop standards on euthanasia and downer animals.


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  1. The “MONSTER” is arising…I could see that this Livestock board was a monster in disguise before it was voted in-BUT-even I never dreamed it would be less than a year before the board was sold out to the animal rights trash that it was suppose to protect us farmers from. Lets see…recommendations were to be based on science-NOT emotions-where are the science facts that this board is supposedly following?? A “blessing in disguise” working WITH HSUS-a group that CLEARLY wants to abolish ALL animal ownership and force everyone into a vegan lifestyle…

    For those board members that are “content with the agreement”-I dont know what farmers YOU have talked to-but I know of NO farmers who support this-we are FURIOUS over this!!! If you cant take a stand for what is constitutionally right for us farmers (remember-consumers have the right to purchase what they want) YOU have NO BUSINESS being on this sham of a board, and should voluntarily resign. It is a complete atrocity that HSUS is allowed ANY say whatsoever regarding ANY animal related agriculture-and should NOT BE TOLERATED AT ANY COST!!! If you dont have the guts or spine to stand up to HSUS-get OFF the board and allow someone who CAN and WILL stand up to this trash that has the gaul to tell us how we can live and run our businesses.

  2. Everyone keeps saying that the HSUS is not controlling the board, however, on the HSUS’s website, Wayne Pacelle states that he will ensure the terms of the “agreement” are enforced. As we all know, the agreement states that if either party is not satisfied they can break from the agreement and HSUS can use the ballot.

    On 7/21, HSUS posted their statement that no cage is acceptable, after agreeing with Gov. Stickland, OFBF’s Jack Fisher and Ohio Ag Council. Seems they intend on breaking the agreement. Here’s the link: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/position_statement_modified_cages.html

    Get ready Ohio, the door has been opened and the enemy is starting to enter.

  3. Keep throwing other forms of animal agriculture under the bus, it frees up your enemy’s money to focus on you. Only a child would imagine that laws that affect one form of animal agriculture will not ripple out to affect other forms. You can’t bargain with the devil. He is not your friend. He is not honest. He has used incremental advances to advantage for 20 years. He will use Alinsky’s Rules for Racicals to chip away at animal agriculture. Rule: “First tell a really big lie over and over till everyone believes it.” Rule: “Never tell any truth that fails to advance your agenda.” Wake up. You have the fox in the hen house.

  4. ULTIMATELY PREVENT the ballot initiative?? can you people READ?? The ballot initiative STAYS in effect.. IF ALL of the HSUS demands are not “agreed to”.. Wool over your eyes.. fox in the hen house.. pig in a poke..till the cows come home.. . that is what you people bought.. Ohio is shortsighted.. and you and we will PAY for this .. HSUS is a VEGAN organization they only serve VEGAN food at their private events..Maggie B is so right along with the other posters.. Your agriculture BOD is being RAILROADED and the HSUS does not care if the train runs fast or slow.. in fact the slower the better because although it seem to hurt less.. it actually is more painful.. . oh and one more.. your Governor is either on the take or AS BLIND AS A BAT.. What you should have said to the HSUS is THAT DOG DON’T HUNT..

  5. A friend said it best: “Pathetic wimps.” An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last, right?

    Supporters of this agreement need to read the history of late 1930’s Europe.

  6. They’re actually defending this “agreement”? The HSUS are part and parcel with people who blow up cars and homes. They hired John Goodwin to demonstrate that if a terrorist is good enough at terror, he will get a cushy job. Both the HSUS and PETA have given financial support to known terrorists.

    Strickland should have done his homework in advance and stuck Pacelle in jail and dared Pacelle’s people to do their worst. You don’t give in to terrorists. They just get worse. You hit them with everything you have until their families sue for peace. Anything less they see as cowardice and they see you as a pansy.

  7. Amplify Alice’s point. The HSUS has been granted power over the state of Ohio to unilaterally decide when it is not “in compliance.” Even if their penalty lacks teeth, it will still motivate the governor, for God’s sake the governor, to work on behalf of the HSUS to harm pet owners and farmers.

    Maybe the citizens of Ohio have failed to make it clear that anyone who would usurp the authority of the state goverment this way should be met with the maximum force of the law and that this governor should be on the side of the citizens against the HSUS.

  8. Why is it so hard for people to understand HSUS’s goal? There goal is to end all animal ownership, to end all animal use by humans.

    i also think that the reason that HSUS came to the table willing to deal was that they felt they would not win on the ballot question, if it made its way to the ballot. The fact that they were at the table willing to deal should have raised a big red flag for the politicians that made the deal. They should have said no deal.

    Now, it is up to the board to reject the agreement’s recommendations. If they look at the science that has been done already, they will find that all of HSUS’s claims are bogus, and will do nothing to help the farmers or the consumers except to raise costs and lower production.

  9. I hope the Buckeye Shakedown will be an issue in the upcoming reelection campaign of Ted Strickland. John Kasich would never have negotiated with the con artist known as Wayne Pacelle.

    Governor Strickland should also know that HSUS’s Ohio membership is less than one tenth of the numbers claimed. In the past, Pacelle has pledged “hundreds of thousands” of votes to legislators that helped advance his agenda (Rick Santorum, John Sweeney, Chris Shays, to name a few) They all lost. Pacelle cannot swing an election; the agriculture community in Ohio can.

  10. I personally thank that people who support HSUS has HUAS{head up a– syndrom}they don’t have a clue what is really going on with this group.It is starting to get kinda scarry to live in this great country of ours.Iam 43 and being told what I can and can’t do,can and can’t eat,I do not condone any kind of abuse towards animals or any thang else,But this group has gotten off the abuse track and has gone to far in this animal rights crusade.cows,pigs,chickens,were put on this earth for food. It has been going on since time begain.Vegan’s read your bible.I want HSUS and the vegan’s to explain to me what they intend to do with all these animals when they [as they say]save them from being used as human food.Just wait next they will want all fenceing down cause that is containment and animals must run free.I thank they need to work more on the dog fighting and chicken fighting that is still going on and leave us farmers and ranchers alone and let us do our job whitch is feed people. Farmers and Ranchers are the most under appriciated people on this earth today. We work 24-7 but wouldn’t give it up for anythang.

  11. The whole idea is to prevent as much suffering as possible. All living beings feel pain just as intensely as you do; only a cold hearted monster would dare think otherwise!!

  12. I don’t know any farmer or rancher that would let his or her animals suffer.That is why we almost go broke building shelters for our livestock,keeping them feed,and the vet bills paid up in case we need a vet right away.We know animals suffer, we stay up with a sick cow exc. al while she is calving or sick if that is what it takes to get her through her trying time. I have delivered I don’t know how many baby goats and bottled fed alot of them till they were 3 months old cause momma didn’t have enough milk to keep them going.I don’t take vacations cause I don’t trust anyone else to take care of my animals. They want feed at certain times and I have two cows that thank they have to be scratched and my bull wants his treats hand fed to him, he likes horse treats the apple flavor.If you don’t feed my horse or goats right they freek out, they have me trained good. The HSUS don’t care about any of that they want to controll us and the way we take care of our animals.What do they plan to do with the animals once they remove them cause someones barn isn’t good enough or some one had to use a hot shot to get a down cow off the ground for her portection ect.I would like to see them go out in a pasture around a 2,000 pound bull during breeding season with out any thang in thier hand for protection.I bottle feed my bull he is for the most part gentle but I dont go in the pasture without a whip or hotshot for my protection.Untill they have raised livestock thier self thay don’t have the right to tell anyone else how to take care of thiers.

  13. If knowledge is power then the knowledge every person needs to know is the HSUS and other lobbying organizations are merely extremists forcing their ideals on everyone much like a dictatorship. These organizations’ executives and members have through various forms of media stated they do not want animals under the control of humans.
    These same organizations also have been proven to support publicly and monetarily other smaller groups that have been identified by FBI and Homeland Security as Eco-terrorists. These organizations DO NOT support and give less than .01 percent of their 3 Billion dollar annual income to local humane organizations.
    There is a hidden agenda with regard to this ban and it has nothing to do with public safety or concerns for good animal care. Rather, it is about eroding or removing American freedoms, the right to pursue happiness and the right to own animals. True animal welfare and desirability of captivity begins with how captivity enhances animal welfare and responsible ownership protects both humans and exotic animals.

    Do the RIGHT thing, have all your animal activist friends spayed or neutered today!

  14. So did the State Vet remain true to his word?
    He thinks so.
    – Fact: When the Veal subcommittee provided the LCSB their recommendation on Nov. 2, the ODA “staff” provided an “Alternate Recommendation” that mirrored the Agreement.

    – Fact: When the majority of the LCSB voted to deviate from the ‘Agreement’, the State Vet. and Director voted with the minority.

    – Fact: When the LCSB voted to get back in line with the ‘Agreement’,
    the State Vet and Director voted in the majority, with the State Vet stating; “6 years is ample time for the farmers to adapt”.

    You decide.
    So much for “must benefit calves and not harm Ohio farm families”.


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