A Sweet Victory for Farm Animals in Ohio
There are big changes coming to Ohio farm animals. Ohioans for Humane Farms met with Ohio agriculture leaders and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to broker a deal that will bring much needed reforms to Ohio animal agriculture. This comes on the heels of a successful signature gathering campaign that collected 500,000 signatures from Ohioans demanding change for farmed animals. Those signatures were collected for a ballot measure that will no longer be necessary as farming interests felt the ominous fight ahead and came to the negotiation table. Here’s what the animals won:
- A ban on veal crates, to be phased out within six years.
- A ban on new gestation crates in the state after December 31, 2010. Existing facilities are grandfathered, but must cease use of these crates within 15 years.
- A permanent moratorium on permits for new battery cage facilities in place immediately.
- A ban on the transport of downed cows and calves for slaughter.
- A ban on strangulation and other forms of on farm killing that are not included in euthanasia standards as outlined by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Enactment of legislation establishing felony-level penalties for cock fighters.
These are huge strides for farmed animals, but there is an underlying disappointment that existing battery cages for egg-laying hens will still be permitted. Battery cages confine a hen to a space the size of a sheet of paper where she can’t even extend her wings for her whole life. Imagine living your entire life in a crowded elevator and you will understand the life if a battery caged hen. These would have been banned by the ballot measure, but this deal does bring historic change to the heavily agricultural state of Ohio without the risk of losing everything at the ballot.
This victory is part of an amazing trend that is shining light on the darkest places in the abusive animal agricultural industry and showing its true colors to the world. Change is happening and the days of cruelty, violence and intensive confinement toward gentle farm animals are numbered.