Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board reviews rules

Care Board discusses rules
Members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board discuss rules. Ohio Ag Director Dave Daniels (center), and State Vet. Tony Forshey (right).

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board reviewed its first four chapters of animal care during an administrative meeting March 23.

The board has reviewed its standards each year since they were finalized, in 2011, to consider new science and potential industry changes.

The chapters reviewed include euthanasia, civil penalties, general considerations and definitions, and disabled and distressed livestock.

“Primarily, the rules have stood as they were adopted early on, but nevertheless, we are required by statute to do this (review),” said Dave Glauer, technical writer, and a past state veterinarian.

During the review of euthanasia rules, Glauer said there have been times in the past year, when western states needed to conduct mass euthanasia in order to control avian influenza, and to fulfill U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements for euthanazing affected birds.

But he said that Ohio’s standard appears to fit within that definition.

The Ohio standard currently reads, “for unusual conditions which require euthanasia of populations, such as wide spread disease eradication and exigent circumstances, the director may authorize alternate methods,” pursuant to Ohio Revised Code.

The rule also states that those “alternate methods” must still “minimize animal pain and suffering to the extent reasonably possible, while considering the threat to human health and safety.”

More standards

The board is scheduled to review standards on veal, dairy, beef, swine, sheep and goats at its Aug. 16 meeting.

Ohio Agriculture Director Dave Daniels said after all 15 chapters have been reviewed, at the end of the year, the complete rule package will be presented to the Ohio Legislature.

“This is an ongoing series of opportunities to look at the rules that we have in place, and how science (and management practices) changes,” Daniels said.

Investigation report

Dan Goeglein, executive director for the board, gave an update on investigations. In 2015, he said there were 33 total investigations, with 23 that resulted in no violations, nine that are now in compliance, and one that is pending compliance.

The majority of investigations involve cattle and equine, and when asked about the size of operations, Goeglein said about 80-90 percent involve “backyard, small operations.”

In 2012, there were 51 investigations, 2013 had 29, and in 2014, there were 23 investigations.

So far, 2016 is on pace to set a record, with 10 investigations to date.

But Goeglein explained that part of the increase is likely due to local humane societies relying on the state for investigations. He said about half the calls he’s getting are coming from local humane societies.

Current board members

The board also introduced two of its newest members, David LaBourveau and John Surber.

LaBourveau is vice president of strategic initiatives for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in Cincinnati.

Surber is a Highland County farmer who operates Sabina Farmers Exchange-Premier Solutions, and is planning an organic dairy farm in 2017.

Other current board members include Bruce McPheron, past dean of Ohio State’s ag college; Bryan Black, swine producer from Canal Winchester; Agriculture Director David Daniels, State Veterinarian Tony Forshey; Jeff LeJeune, OSU researcher; Tuscarawas County farmer Jerry Lahmers; Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks; Dr. Ryan Zimmerman, Ohio Veterinary Medical Association; William Knapke, Ohio Pork Producers Council; and Terrence Stammen, Darke County dairy farmer.

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