To the Editor: Issue 2 offers balanced approach to livestock care PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Mike Berry   
Saturday, 31 October 2009 07:56
As a part time farmer and livestock producer from Grand Rapids, I need to explain why Issue 2 is so important to the Ohio farmers, and to you, the consumer.
Ohio's farmers are like all Ohioans - we rely on safe, affordable food sources to provide for our families. We are committed to the best care for our herds. Issue 2 is Ohio's plan to maintain excellent care for Ohio's livestock industry while maintaining a safe, affordable food supply that is locally grown.
The reasonable approach is to establish a Livestock Care Standards Board that will bring expertise to set animal care policy. The board will be made up of veterinarians, a food safety expert, a local humane society representative, three family farmers, two members from statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college and two members representing Ohio consumers. These folks will use their best knowledge in making decisions affecting animal agriculture.
Issue 2 is far better than extreme measures offered by advocates for veganism who seek extreme, costly anti-farming regulations that will burden the production of meat, milk and eggs until these products are no longer affordable to Ohioans.
Unwise regulation will drive agriculture from Ohio, putting thousands of farmers out of business, reducing our food supply, increasing food costs to you the consumer and forcing reliance on unsafe, imported foods.
Without the passage of Issue 2, the Humane Society of the United States intends to place their own constitutional amendment before the Ohio voters to give rights to animals, as they have done in Florida, Arizona and California. Passing Issue 2 will reportedly block the impending animal rights initiative. Issue 2 is a step that must be taken to halt intolerant laws intended by those who not only oppose the consumption of animal products, but believe that animals should have rights equal to those of humans.
When are the American people going to finally wake up? The future of raising livestock in this state and every other state is in jeopardy if we don't pass Issue 2. The long term result will be to drive livestock production to regions of the world that view raising livestock more favorably.
Livestock production today is far more technical and specialized than in years past. What has not changed is the producer's care and concern for the health and comfort of his animals. They are his hope and livelihood just as they have always been.
Issue 2 will assure a balanced approach to livestock care, rather than input from an out-of-state interest group that knows nothing about agriculture in Ohio. These activists will impose rigid, inflexible and impractical rules for how livestock and poultry are housed. It would endanger the overall health and well-being of Ohio's flocks and herds.
Please join me in insuring safe, affordable food and vote yes for Issue 2 to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. Without farmers, where will food come from?
Mike Berry
Grand Rapids
 

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