It comes as no surprise that the Humane Society of the United States was miffed by Ohio’s passage Tuesday of the state’s Issue Two measure, by a substantial margin. It also will be no surprise that HSUS will fail to grasp the message contained in the measure’s passage.
Approval of Issue 2, which establishes the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to govern the state's livestock welfare issues, tells HSUS in clear terms that Ohioans want to keep control of their state's affairs in the hands of fellow Ohioans.
The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will be chaired by the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture and will comprise 13 Ohioans: The department director, three family farmers, two veterinarians (including the state veterinarian), a food safety expert, a representative of a local humane society, two members representing statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college and two members representing Ohio consumers.
Passage of Issue 2 says that Ohioans choose not to be bound by opinions of outsiders who attempt to impose their own ideas and legislation on Ohio farmers and then move on. Unlike HSUS leadership, the members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board reside in, and will remain, in Ohio.
Of course, HSUS is not happy with Ohioans' decision. "By packaging Issue 2 as pro-animal welfare and pro-food safety, the architects of the ballot measure went a long way to assure its passage," says HSUS President Wayne Pacelle. He indeed knows about going a “long way” on issues. After all, HSUS attempts to extend their opinions and force legislation on issues in which they are not experts, in states where they are not residents. Talk about going a “long way.”
Pacelle and the HSUS tried to tell Ohio residents what is best for their state and how they need to practice animal agriculture. The message delivered by the voters is that the subject will be governed by resident experts based on experience and science, not on emotion, which HSUS freely proffers at every opportunity.
Pacelle either is oblivious to the message sent by Ohio voters or chooses to ignore it. "The Ohio Farm Bureau and other agribusiness lobby groups cooked it up in an effort to block real reform," he says, ignoring the fact that the decision was made by the voters, not just those who back the measure.
Even though HSUS chooses to ignore the state’s message to them, Ohio has spoken. Good for them.