Ohio keeps deal on veal, but backs off on exotic pets

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2011:
COLUMBUS–The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board on April 5,
2011 voted 11-0 in favor of a standard requiring that veal calves be
kept in pens in which they have room to turn around. The vote
reversed a 6-5 vote on March 2, 2011 which would have allowed veal
crating to continue–and would have broken a June 2010 agreement
brokered by former Ohio governor Ted Strickland that kept off the
November 2010 ballot a proposal advanced by the Humane Society of the
U.S. to ban veal crates, sow gestation crates, and battery cages
for laying hens.

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board had received
“approximately 4,700 public comments” protesting the March vote,
said Mercy for Animals founder Nathan Runkle. The reversal, Runkle
added, came “in front of nearly 300 attendees [at the Ohio Livestock
Care Standards Board meeting] proudly wearing t-shirts with a picture
of a calf and the message, ‘Let Them Turn Around.’
“The cruel crate-and-tether method of veal production is
slated to be phased out by 2017,” Runkle continued. “This phase-out
was one of eight planks in an agreement between animal protection
advocates, former Governor Ted Strickland, and the Ohio
agribusiness lobby.”
The agreement also called upon the Ohio Livestock Board, the
Ohio legislature, and the governor, who is now John Kasich, to ban
the installation of new gestation crates on pig farms after Dec. 31,
2010, with use of old gestation crates to end by 2025. Existing
facilities are grandfathered, but must cease use of these crates
within 15 years.
Under the agreement, permits are no longer to be issued for
building egg barns in which the hens are to be kept in battery cages.
Regulations are to be introduced concerning how sick and injured
farmed animals may be killed, “including a ban on strangulation,”
Runkle noted.
Downed cattle are no longer to be transported for slaughter.
Felony penalties are to be introduced for cockfighting, legislation
is to be passed “cracking down on puppy mills,” Runkle said, and
Ohio is to “ban the acquisition of dangerous exotic animals as pets,
such as primates, bears, lions, tigers, large constricting and
venomous snakes, crocodiles and alligators.”
Strickland introduced the promised ban on acquiring dangerous
exotic animals as pets with a 90-day executive order, issued just as
he left office. His successor, John Kasich, “decided to allow the
90-day order to lapse, largely because of concerns about the legal
authority for the ban, as well as its enforceability and funding to
support it,” reported Alan Johnson of the Columbus Dispatch on April
5–the same day that the veal calf standard was revised in conformity
with the terms Strickland negotiated.
“Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials said that
after April 7, they will have no authority to regulate exotic
animals,” wrote Johnson. Of the species covered by Strickland’s
executive order, only species native to Ohio remain regulated,
including “bobcats, coyotes, black bears, rattlesnakes and
copperhead snakes,” Johnson listed. Ohio assistant natural
resources director Scott Zody and Ohio Division of Wildlife law
enforcement officer Jim Lehman told Johnson that new regulations
pertaining to keeping dangerous wildlife would be drafted.
“Strickland’s executive order would have required owners of such
animals to register them with the state by May 1, 2011,” said
“People are slowly but surely realizing that, in reality,
there is no ‘Ohio agreement,'” commented Humane Farming Association
founder Brad Miller. “If there ever was one, it died on December
31, 2010. That was the date that the agreement itself established as
the deadline for a number of things that have not happened, i.e.
felony penalty legislation for animal fighting, and legislation
regarding puppy mills, in addition to the farm animal-related items
HFA is addressing.
“Kasich’s trashing of the exotic animal prohibitions is just
the latest shoe to drop,” Miller charged. “HSUS originally
assured supporters that if any one of its agreed-upon reforms did not
take place, it would withdraw its support of the Livestock Board and
re-launch a ballot measure. Now it’s clear that there’s no deadline
for anything.” The livestock industry, Miller said, “is now just
working the clock.”

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