You are here

Farm-Animal Amendment Remains on Track

Human illness is now linked to factory farming practices. Salmonella levels are over 5x higher in factory farm eggs than organic, and when medical researchers at the University of Minnesota took more than 1,000 food samples from multiple retail markets that sold factory farmed food, they found evidence of fecal contamination in 69% of the pork and beef and 92% of the poultry samples. Nine out of ten chicken carcasses in the store may be contaminated with fecal matter.

Great news for progressives in today's Dispatch on two fronts: a defeat for the attempt to repeal health care reform in Ohio and the Humane Society is fast closing in on the number of signatures required to get the farm-animal care amendment on the ballot.

Grassroots political action really works!

With the real threat of a farm-animal amendment on the November ballot, the Humane Society now has the bargaining power with the Livestock Board to get the job done with or without a constitutional amendment. Which way it goes depends on whether the Livestock Board and state officials will agree to minimum care standards (Columbus Dispatch, June 23, 2010: "Health-care repeal won't be on Ohio ballot, but farm-animal amendment remains on track"):

Pacelle [the Humane Society's president and CEO] said the only reason the petition would not be filed is if the Humane Society reaches an agreement with state officials and the newly formed Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to enact the proposed reforms without going the route of a constitutional amendment. The biggest stumbling block undoubtedly is a proposal to eliminate the practice of keeping farm animals in very confining cages and pens for long periods.

The minimum standards the Humane Society requires include prohibiting a farm operator from confining a calf, pig or hen on a farm for all or most of the day in a manner that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending his or her limbs or turning around freely; and prohibit the killing of cows and pigs on farms by strangulation.

The proposed amendment is designed as a countermeasure to last year’s Ohio Livestock Care Standards, which was Issue 2 on the ballot. That measure — pushed for mostly by agribusiness and large corporate-owned farms — created a board where 12 of the 13 board members are political appointees, meaning they likely will be vulnerable to political influence from big donors like agribusiness, which generally wants looser standards.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer