Even before the barbaric video tape was released last week by Mercy For Animals that showed cruel and abusive treatment to cows at the Conklin Dairy Farm in Ohio; a grassroots organization was working hard to change farming practices in the state.
Ohioans for Humane Farms is a coalition of animal welfare, family farming, food safety, and environmental advocates that are spearheading a campaign to put a citizen-sponsored proposal on Ohio’s November 2010 ballot. The initiative will give voters a voice on how animals are treated on factory farms. It will require the Ohio Livestock Board to adopt specific standards that will prevent the type of animal abuse, documented by Mercy For Animals, from happening in the future.
Here are some of the specific practices Ohioans for Humane Farms lists on their website that the initiative would stop:
- 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 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: Sick and injured animals that enter into the food supply threaten public health and food safety. Cows too sick or injured to stand or walk on their own to slaughter should be humanely euthanized, not inhumanely dragged or pushed while being shocked and beaten 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 from a tractor. He was acquitted of cruelty for the hangings because Ohio has no law that requires farm animals to be euthanized humanely.
“The ballot measure is backed by The Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Ohio SPCA, the Toledo Area Humane Society, the Geauga Humane Society, Humane Society of Greater Dayton, Medina County SPCA, and a growing list of organizations.”
Ohioans for Humane Farms must get 600,000 signatures for their measure to get on the ballot and reach voters. Click here to see how you can help.
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