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WSPA endorses historic Ohio initiative for farm animals

Jun 7, 2010

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has endorsed a citizen-backed ballot initiative being promoted by Ohioans for Humane Farms - a coalition of animal protection organizations, veterinarians, family farmers, food safety and environmental advocates - to help end some of the cruelest factory farming practices in the state of Ohio.

Industrialized factory farms in Ohio confine millions of animals in tiny cages and crates. This extreme overcrowding causes intense animal suffering, pollutes the environment, threatens human health and weakens Ohio’s family farms.

The measure on Ohio’s November 2010 ballot, if passed, will require the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to implement certain minimum humane care standards that will prevent animal cruelty, improve health and food safety, support family farms and safeguard the environment throughout the state of Ohio. The measure will specifically prevent the following:

Extreme confinement in tiny cages for months on end:
Tens of thousands of veal calves, 170,000 breeding pigs and approximately 27 million egg-laying hens in Ohio are confined in cages and crates so restrictive that the animals can barely move an inch for virtually their whole lives. Many don’t even have enough room to stretch their limbs or turn around.

Allowing “downer cows” to enter the human food chain:
Allowing sick and injured animals into the food supply threatens public health and food safety. Cows too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own should be humanely euthanized, not inhumanely dragged or pushed onto the kill floor to be used for human consumption.

Inhumane methods of euthanasia for sick and injured animals:
In Ohio, a factory farmer was videotaped killing sick pigs by hanging them execution-style from a tractor, leaving them to writhe in the air for minutes on end. He was acquitted of cruelty for the hangings, a verdict Ohio’s agribusiness community hailed as a “huge victory,” because Ohio has no law specifically requiring humane farm animal euthanasia method.

Similar ballot reforms have already been enacted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan and Oregon.

To learn more about this ballot initiative, or to sign up to volunteer with collecting signatures, please visit Ohioans for Humane Farms.

Thank you for helping to protect farm animals!

More information on WSPA’s farm animal welfare campaign >>

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