As Nov. 3 approaches and the debate over Issue 2 escalates, Ohio’s two largest humane societies and smaller ones, including Geauga Humane in rural Geauga County, today announced their opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment.
They join the state farmers’ union, organic food proponents and environmental groups opposing the plan to create a livestock board that would determine how billions of cows, chickens, pigs, sheep and goats are treated here.
The Cleveland Animal Protective League, Geauga Humane and Capital Area Humane serving Greater Columbus say Issue 2 would not be good for farm animals, as the 13-member appointed board would include just one humane officer.
“County humane societies had no voice in this proposal and no representation during discussions about the role and composition of the proposed board,” said Cleveland APL Director Sharon Harvey.
Issue 2 was drafted immediately after the Humane Society of the United States (buoyed by successful campaigns in California, Florida, Maine, Colorado, Oregon and Arizona) met once with agribusiness leaders here and proposed phasing out the use of crates and cages that don’t allow veal calves, pigs and chickens to move naturally.
HSUS’s phase-out proposal was accepted Oct. 1 in Michigan, where agricultural groups and legislators said they negotiated with HSUS to avoid multimillion-dollar ballot campaigns. The Michigan law ends the use of veal crates in three years and battery cages and gestation stalls by 2019.
“No one likes change and no likes to spend money to make those changes,” Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, said in a news release, but “the fact of the matter is that agriculture recognizes we must be more responsive to consumer demand and perceptions.”
So, for those who continue to insist that those who oppose Issue 2 are “radical animal activists” rather than simply people who want farm animals to have space to move and live, this ought to provide (ahem) food for thought.
Filed under: animal cruelty, animal law Tagged: | animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal law, animal suffering, animal welfare, battery cages, Capital Area Humane, Cleveland Animal Protective League, factory farms, farmed animals, Geauga Humane, HSUS, industrial farming, Issue 2, Ohio, veal crates