Ohio considers livestock housing board
COLUMBUS, OHIO — A ballot issue that would create a statewide board standardizing livestock housing is a step in the right direction, according to the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA).
But the group would like to see more than two veterinarians represented on the 13-member board, according to Jack Advent, OVMA executive director. It is one issue that is tempering association support for the measure. The November ballot issue, approved by the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, is a pre-emptive move to block a ballot initiative by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
OVMA released a position statement on the issue stating that "the creation of a regulatory entity which would help advance reasonable animal-care standards that rely upon the expertise of those trained to evaluate environments appropriate to an animal's care and use reflects positive developments in public policy."The OVMA, Ohio Farm Bureau and other interested parties met with HSUS earlier this year for "dialogue" regarding current housing practices in Ohio. HSUS says it is considering a ballot initiative, similar to one approved by voters in California that allows criminal charges to be brought against farmers for confining animals in a way that prohibits them from moving around. The California Veterinary Medical Association supported that initiative.
"We've not formally taken an issue of support," Advent says. "Some aspects of the proposal we wouldn't find as ideal, but we think there are positives to it."