Senate Joint Resolution on Livestock Care Standards for Ohio

June 22, 2009 at 7:30 am

Peggy Hall, Agricultural & Resource Law Program Director for OSU Extension recently sent a summary of Ohio Senate action. The Ohio Senate has introduced a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Ohio Constitution to address the care of livestock.

Here’s a quick summary of the proposed constitutional amendment:

  • Creates a thirteen member Livestock Care Standards Board consisting of the Director of the Department of Agriculture, ten members appointed by the Governor, a family farmer appointed by the Speaker of the House and a family farmer appointed by the President of the Senate.
  • Grants the Livestock Care Standards Board the authority to establish and implement standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry.
  • Directs the Board to “endeavor to maintain food safety, encourage locally grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families” and to consider factors such as agricultural best management practices for care and well-being, biosecurity, disease prevention, animal morbidity and mortality data, food safety practices, and the protection of local, affordable food supplies for consumers.
  • Grants the Ohio Department of Agriculture authority for overseeing and enforcing the standards established by the Board.

If passed by a three-fifths majority of the House and Senate, the proposed constitutional amendment will be submitted to Ohio voters on the November 3 ballot.

Hearings on the resolution are scheduled to begin the week of June 22, 2009 in the Senate Agriculture Committee. You may access the joint resolution here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/res.cfm?ID=128_SJR_6

UPDATE: 6/22/09, 10:00 p.m.

Emily Caldwell, of Farm and Dairy, wrote an excellent article summarizing this action.  From her article:

A joint resolution between the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives — which has the support of most major agricultural organizations in Ohio — would authorize language on the ballot this November and, if passed, would create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a 13-member board responsible for implementing proper guidelines. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has already announced his support of the amendment.

Read Emily’s full article here: http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/ohio-studies-livestock-care-ballot-initiative/12359.html

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