Wednesday, June 10, 2009

'Will politics and social agendas phase out U.S. livestock production?'

From the Cattle Network:

How would you react to non-farm folks imposing rules on your livestock production? It is one thing if those rule makers were from your own state, but what if they did not even live in your state, much less have no economic interest in livestock production? That is what has happened in some western states, and may well happen soon in Ohio and in the not-to-distant future in other Cornbelt states.

Methods of livestock production, honed over the years by enterprising farmers and university researchers, have become controversial with the help of the Humane Society of the United States which has turned to the political route to pursue its agenda. Noted Ohio State University economist Luther Tweeten says the HSUS plans a referendum in 2010 that will impact the Ohio laying hen industry and its 27 million birds. In the June issue of the OSU Ag Manager newsletter Tweeten says Ohio agriculture has a major stake in the outcome of the HSUS effort.
[ See:

The threat of a referendum, if Ohio agriculture does not cooperate with HSUS plans to change livestock production, is backed up by forced changes that occurred with Proposition 2 in California. That new law makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to confine livestock in ways that are typical of 21st Century production.

Tweeten says it is important to recognize that nearly everyone supports humane treatment of animals, but at issue is what constitutes humane treatment. He says the HSUS proponents believe legislation will enhance animal welfare, provide healthier food because animals will contract fewer diseases and will reduce soil, water, and air pollution. On the other hand, confinement philosophies are associated with protection of animals from temperature extremes, predators, soil-borne diseases and parasites. He believes the general public has looked to science-based research to narrow the differences, but only with partial satisfaction.

1 comment:

threecollie said...

New York is under the same hammer with our own version of Prop 2 having been introduced by NYC legislators. Few people are aware that Ag is one of the top industries in the state and that dairy makes up a huge portion of that. However, I suspect they will notice if a large majority of farms give up or move away. The economic toll and loss of green space will be unmistakable.

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