I’m back in the northern hemisphere, missing the tropical juices and proximity to the beach but enjoying my family (human and non), my friends, and my deck with its accompanying martinis. I’ve also been pondering the Ohio deal I blogged about before getting on the plane last week. As you may recall, the ballot initiative in Ohio containing important agricultural reforms has been indefinitely postponed in exchange for a number of concessions.
The Ohio compromise is a good par 5 from ideal; that is beyond cavil. Nevertheless, a number of people I respect have given me to understand that it accomplished a great deal. You can read some good commentary on the issue here and here. Some particulars: The ban on new battery cages foreclosed a 6 million bird facility that was about to be constructed. In addition, while the 15 year phaseout of gestation crates remains difficult to stomach, if the ballot initiative had become law it still would have taken 6. And that’s a big if. After all, the initiative might not have passed. Big Ag is very strong in Ohio and the money it would have poured into opposing the initiative might well have carried the day.
Other important parts of the compromise are the crackdown on puppy mills and the creation of a felony-level cockfighting statute . These are not small things and would have been difficult to accomplish on their own.
And last, the ag industry is unhappy. Very unhappy. That is always a good sign for the animals. So, while I’m still not satisfied, satisfaction is not the measure of a good compromise. Ultimately, the question must be whether under the circumstances, the negotiators made the right call. I now tend to think that they did.
Filed under: animal law, animal advocacy, factory farms, animal welfare, animal cruelty, exotic animals Tagged: | animal law, animal abuse, industrial farming, egg production, animal suffering, hens, farmed animals, battery cages, CAFOS, animal welfare, animal cruelty, animal advocacy, Ohio, factory farms, HSUS, gestation crates, factory farming, Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board