Issue 2 has raised many concerns about the humane care of animals and the safety of food in our food system and whether the issue warrants a change to our constitution.
Here's what the issue seeks to do:
2 would add the The Ohio Livestock Care
Standards Board into Section 1,
Article XIV, of the Ohio Constitution. (Create a constitutional amendment) The measure would not establish specific
rules or standards.
The 13-member board would be headed by the state
agriculture director. Ten members would be appointed by the governor: a family
farmer, a food-safety expert, two statewide farming organization
representatives, a licensed veterinarian, the state agricultural veterinarian,
a college or university agricultural dean, two consumers and a county
humane-society representative. The speaker of the Ohio House and president of
the Ohio Senate would each appoint a family farmer. (No more than seven members
could be of the same political party.)
The panel would have "exclusive authority
to set standards governing the care and wellbeing of livestock in this
state." It must consider bio-security and food-safety practices, disease
prevention, animal morbidity and protection of local, affordable food supplies.
The Department of Agriculture would administer rules set by the board.
The General Assembly would pass enabling laws
setting terms of office for board members and enacting laws "that it deems
necessary" to carry out the amendment.
The members would not be paid but they could
receive reimbursement for daily expenses. The Office of Budget and Management
estimated a $176,703 cost to operate the board in the first year and $162,280
annually thereafter. Most of the expense would be salaries for a director and
The only way that the board could be eliminated is
by another constitutional amendment.
Matters concurs with the League of Women Voters recommendation on Issue 2 and suggests a vote of "NO":
of Issue 2 would amend the Ohio
Constitution to create the Ohio Livestock Standards Board and set forth its
composition and duties. The LWV-Ohio board voted to OPPOSE passage of this
issue because the amendment contains too much specificity to be in the Ohio
Constitution. The League's opposition is based on its state position that the
Ohio Constitution should be a clearly stated body of fundamental principles.
Matters strives to work with partners
such as the Farm Bureau and the Humane Society to improve the quality of life
of all in our communities, including animals and plants. In the case of Issue
2, in addition to our belief there is no necessity for an amendment to the Ohio
Constitution, we respectfully disagree with the Farm Bureau and the Humane
Society of the United States regarding the use of propaganda to win
supporters. The propaganda from both
groups is unnecessary and damaging to honest dialogue crucial for solving
issues related to livestock care.
While Local Matters recommends
a "VOTE NO" on Issue 2, we also request that our
members contact both groups and urge them to invite other interested parties to the table and together, find a civil way to resolve
their differences and put forth a rational plan to the public for food safety and animal welfare in our local food system.
To illustrate our point, we thought our readers might find it interesting to see the amounts of money that have been spent by those who are pushing for the passage of Issue 2 and those who are against Issue 2.
- For Issue 2 (Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Pork Producers Council, Ohio Cattleman's Association and the Ohio Poultry Association, and others): Over $4 million dollars to date ($1.2 million from outside Ohio)
- Against Issue 2 (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Food and Water Watch, Ohio Farmers Union and Local Matters, among others): Less than $10,000.00
The Humane Society of theUnited States
2100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
280 Plaza, 6th floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 249-2400
Fax: (614) 249-2200
For more information on