Most notably, the board approved making its “general considerations” document, and its “disabled livestock” document, available for electronic review and comments, via the state’s eNotification system.
Comments can be submitted after 12 p.m. Jan. 19, and through the end of January. This now makes four sets of standards the board has advanced for comments, joining the civil penalty standards, and standards for euthanasia of livestock.
The general considerations document defines the different species and their body conditions, and the most basic things that pertain to livestock welfare.
Areas of concern
Topics include feed and water, management, euthanasia, health and transportation.
The disabled livestock document specifies which disabled animals may and may not be transported, and to which destinations.
Both documents are available online at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/proposedrules/proposedrules.aspx.
The board reviewed and approved advancing its poultry document to rule format. Further board approval will still be required, but the document will now be organized and presented as a set of rules.
The board also briefly revisited and ultimately tabled its swine standards. The biggest change in recent meetings has been to require all swine facilities to phaseout life-long single stall usage by 2025, and adopt “alternative” housing.
Previous drafts had allowed for a grandfather clause, that would have allowed existing swine farmers to expand existing facilities indefinitely, but concern over competitive advantages led the board to consider an all-inclusive phaseout of 2025.
The board will next meet on Feb. 1, when it will review comments generated through the eNotification process. After reviewing comments, the documents will progress to a public hearing and a hearing by Ohio’s rule review body — the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.