Next round of animal welfare reform hits Midwest

Next round of animal welfare reform hits Midwest

Feb 05, 2010
By staff
National report -- Animal welfare was predicted to be one of the hot spots of veterinary medicine in 2010, and state legislators already are proving the prediction to be true.

Several state measures dealing with animal welfare issues already were introduced by early January, including Oklahoma, Indiana and Nebraska.

The Humane Society of the United States proclaimed in 2009 that is was working on nationwide animal welfare reform, after backing initiatives in states like California and Michigan, but it’s unclear which, if any, of the new proposals are being backed by the group.

Oklahoma’s proposal, House Bill 2345, would create a 13-member Oklahoma Livestock Care Standards Board to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry. The proposal is similar to once passed by voters in November 2009 in Ohio .

Indiana also has a new animal welfare bill in its sights, which would allow the existing board of animal health to establish standards governing livestock and poultry care. A Nebraska bill would adopt the Livestock Animal Welfare Act with misdemeanor penalties for abandonment, neglect or mistreatment of livestock.

Kentucky also approved a bill Feb. 4 that will create a commission to establish a new set of farm animal welfare standards. The 14-member Kentucky Livestock Standards Commission would be chaired by the state agriculture commissioner and the state veterinarian would be a non-voting member.

South Dakota also is planning an ad hoc review of its animal care laws in 2010, with possible recommendations for changes in 2011.