While Ohio voters voted in support of Issue 2 last Tuesday, the Humane Society of the United States is making plans to bring up an initiative of its own next year. Issue 2, which passed with more than 63% of Ohio voters supporting it, authorizes a 13-member panel to define animal care standards for the state's livestock industry. But, the HSUS is threatening their own ballot initiative next year to circumvent the board. Many believe the HSUS initiative is a way to eliminate animal agriculture.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance says Issue 2 has allowed for meaningful conversations about agriculture to begin between farmers and consumers. This dialogue must continue in order to protect the livelihood of today's farm families.
Agriculturists across the country will be watching closely as the new regulatory panel is put to work. The Animal Agriculture Alliance warns that, although Ohio has set a new precedent, other state agriculture leaders should show caution before using the new board as a model because the needs and political atmosphere of each state vary widely. The alliance suggests there may be other effective ways to counter attacks from activists that should be explored.