HSUS wants food-animal housing changes in Ohio


HSUS wants food-animal housing changes in Ohio

Apr 16, 2009
Columbus, Ohio -- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is targeting Ohio's farming practices in an effort to change housing requirements for farm animals.

Jack Advent, executive director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), says the association, the Farm Bureau and the Food Producer Groups sat down with HSUS in February to see if there was any potential for dialogue before the issue went to a larger scale.

HSUS told the groups that it plans to pursue an initiative, potentially ballot-driven, similar to California's Proposition 2, which passed by nearly a 27 percent margin in November.

Prop 2 requires that farms provide enough room for animals to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs. The law will go into effect in January 2015.

But HSUS pledged to help food-animal producers by providing information on alternative production methods.

"Ohio is a big agricultural state, but there obviously are a lot of urban areas too," Advent says. "They may have already done some polling (of voters.)"

While details about the initiative have not been revealed, Advent believes HSUS will use Prop 2 as its model in Ohio.

"There hasn't been a subsequent meeting," he says.

Ohio is the ninth largest pork-producing state in the country and the second largest state for laying hens.

"It's big business, big industry for the State of Ohio," Advent says. "There are some pretty serious economic hurdles, as you see with California. What we need to do is educate our members and research other housing options," Advent says. "I believe we need to have another dialogue to ascertain what HSUS is putting on the table."