Ohio State Issue 2 is on the ballot November 3rd.  Here’s why Ohioans should vote NO on this issue.

If this issue passes, it will amend the state constitution to create a Livestock Care Standards Board.  While this sounds good for farm animals and for people, I can assure you, it isn’t.  This board would mainly consist of representatives for corporate agribusiness.  The 13-member board would be comprised of “livestock experts” in animal care, food production, farm management and food safety. (1)  The corporate agribusiness lobbyists, the Ohio Farm Bureau and the Ohio Pork Producers Council, wholeheartedly support this issue.

This issue is nothing more than a power grab and a preemptive move by corporate agribusiness to stall any future legislation that would actually provide real care for farm animals, such as Prop 2 that passed in California last year.  Corporate farms in Ohio do not want the expense of having to eliminate battery cages for hens, gestation crates for pigs, and veal crates for calves. (2)

Issue 2 is not supported by the Ohio Farmers Union, an organization representing over 300,000 family farmers nationwide.  The proposed Livestock Care Standards Board represents corporate (factory) farms- not small family farmers.  Also opposing Issue 2 is the Ohio Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, and the following newspapers: the Columbus Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon Journal, and the Dayton Daily News. (3) The Cleveland City Council has passed a resolution urging residents to vote NO on Issue 2 on November 3rd.  Councilman Joe Cimperman says, “It takes power out of the Ohio Department of Agriculture and puts it in the hands of people who are appointed, and does it in a way that I think smacks of big business basically dictating what food policy should be.” (4)

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor said that State Issue 2 is an “inappropriate use” of a constitutional amendment.  “Policy needs to evolve as our society changes.” (5)

You just can’t easily overturn a constitutional amendment.

The passage of this issue will mean that the Livestock Care Standards Board’s decisions will trump any decisions made by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and override any laws proposed or passed by the Ohio State Legislature.  In other words, the passage of Issue 2 would grant corporate agribusiness unchecked power to implement or not implement any decisions regarding the treatment of farm animals.  The amendment would give the Board unbridled power to make sure that nothing interferes with the profits of factory farms, essentially, for eternity.

Ohioans, Vote NO on Issue 2 on November 3rd. And don’t forget to express your disapproval with the government representatives who support this ludicrous issue- including Governor of the State of Ohio, Ted Strickland.

Please take the time to check out the official Vote NO on Issue 2 site.

And don’t forget to read about Governor Ted Strickland’s support of Issue 2.

UPDATE:  PLEASE ALSO SEE “Let’s talk Issue 2 (part deux)”

(1) http://brownfieldagnews.com/2009/09/29/ohio-animal-care-campaign-underway/
(2) http://www.hsus.org/legislation_laws/ballot_initiatives/ohio_issue_2.html
(3) http://www.ohioact.org/
(4) http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/news/28312
(5) http://www.thecourier.com/templates/print.asp?d=101609_story1,2009,Oct,16&c=n