I just stepped away from a press conference in the Cabinet Room of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland where he, Ohio Farm Bureau official Jack Fisher and I announced a historic agreement on animal welfare in the state.
With today as the deadline for submission of signatures to qualify the ballot initiative to address intensive confinement practices on Ohio’s factory farms, the Governor, the Farm Bureau and other livestock trade groups came together with The HSUS to ultimately enact a series of eight animal welfare reforms on animal agriculture, cockfighting, puppy mills, and the keeping of wild animals as pets.
I’ll write more about this tomorrow, but I wanted to pass on this exciting news. This was only made possible because of the tireless efforts of our coalition partners and signature gatherers in Ohio who spent so much time volunteering in the streets over the past several months. If you were one of them, I hope you’re proud of what you helped accomplish for animals. I can’t thank you enough.
Here’s a list of the eight reforms that the Governor and the Farm Bureau and The HSUS have agreed to advance in Ohio:
- A ban on veal crates by 2017, which is the same timing as the ballot measure.
- A ban on new gestation crates in the state after Dec. 31, 2010. Existing facilities are grandfathered, but must cease use of these crates within 15 years.
- A moratorium on permits for new battery cage confinement facilities for laying hens.
- A ban on strangulation of farm animals and mandatory humane euthanasia methods for sick or injured animals.
- A ban on the transport of downer cows for slaughter.
- Enactment of legislation establishing felony-level penalties for cockfighters.
- Enactment of legislation cracking down on puppy mills.
- Enactment of a ban on the acquisition of dangerous exotic animals as pets, such as primates, bears, lions, tigers, large constricting and venomous snakes, crocodiles and alligators.