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Ohio Veal Vote Angers Animal Welfare Advocates

Ohio Veal Vote Angers Animal Welfare Advocates

A recent vote on the use of veal crates in Ohio goes back on a deal that was struck last June between animal welfare activists and farm organizations to keep livestock welfare standards from going to the ballot.

Ohioans and animal welfare organizations had been working to increase protection for farm animals and implement stronger anti-cruelty laws in the state by collecting more than 500,000 signatures to bring animal welfare issues to the table for voters last November.

Before the issues went farther, an agreement was reached between Ohioans for Humane Farms, farm groups and Governor Ted Strickland to make improvements on a number of issues ranging from intensive factory farming practices to puppy mills.

Among the changes agreed on was a ban on veal crates by 2017, which have already been banned in five states.

Veal crates are designed to prevent muscle development of calves by restricting their ability to move because of the demand for the texture and color of their tender meat.

Hopefully, most people, including those who eat meat, can all agree that intensively confining a living being for most of its life in such a way that restricts their ability to move, stretch, lay down or even scratch an itch, never mind socialize, engage in normal behavior or breath fresh air, is inherently inhumane.

What many consumers don’t realize is that these calves are a direct byproduct of the dairy industry who are removed from their mothers from within hours to a day or two of being born so her milk can be sold for human consumption. Those with the pure bad luck of being born male will be shipped off to veal farms, while females will be raised to replace their mothers as milk producers.

The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes chaining calves by the neck in crates and has adopted the policy that “individual housing must allow the calf to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures.”

Unfortunately, after objections from veal producers the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board voted 6-5 to allow the continued confinement of veal calves in crates so small they’ll spend their brief lives with the inability to even turn around, totally reversing the original agreement. 

“A phase-out of veal crates is a core element of the eight-point animal welfare agreement, and if the Livestock Board guts that provision by allowing calves to be immobilized for more than half of their lives, we will have little choice but to renew the effort for a ballot initiative that we had hoped had been averted through a balanced and forward-looking agreement,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society.

The petition signatures gathered remain valid and can still be brought to the ballot if necessary, but the decision can still be reversed and may be affected by a comment period that will be open through April.

Please take a minute to submit a comment to the Ohio Department of Agriculture asking them to reinstate the previously agreed on provision that would allow all calves to at least turn around regardless of how old they are. 


Related Stories: 

Truce Reached Over Farm Animal Welfare in Ohio

Working Hard so Ohio Dairy Cows Are Never Abused Again

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2:36PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

to Marta Kutyla the question was "Should veal crates be banned?" the answer of a sane person would be yes

11:49AM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Who said yes!!! You must be a heartless, selfless, sub-human, that doesnt respect the life of our animal friends. I hope this world wakes up and evolves for the better!!

2:30AM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

Just stop this! it is torture to baby calfs. Who are the people in these industries, have they no compassion at all?

I heard of Rose veal in Europe... supposedly it's more humane - they could try that here.

12:11PM PDT on Mar 31, 2011

what a sad thing to put an animal in stocks and then cut its throut in 3 months it should never have happened it should stop now

6:33PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

This is one of the saddest things I learn they do to calves, is so sad and is one of the many reasons I stopped eating meat last year. I cant imagine any calve induring this stuff, and the mothers, imagine their sadness and confussion of being separated, just is very sad. Why eat meat?! endure on a animals death to satisfied our appetite? there is so many other food to eat than to be part of this horrific killing of animals! this animals like a cat or dog want to be loved and taken care of. This is just what I think....

12:51PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011


8:57PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Anyone who wishes to know why Ohio went back on their agreement as far as Veal Crates are concerned, or any other animal welfare issue only has to realize that Ohio is a Republican state. Before any Republicans out there become offeneded , just look up the Republican voting history on animal issues. OR better yet, just look up the Demographic maps that many newspapers, Like the Tribune put out, and I wont be suprised that the Republican ones are multi-million dollar communuities., DO ya think maybee they are Corporation owners?

5:10AM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

Why would you lick your lips and rub your tummy and say that was good.........knowing the animal you ate suffered horribly from the time it was born and all through his short life span.....end farm factories

12:18PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

I'd like to put the 1% arsehole who voted to keep the crates into one of the same crates and put a lid on top so that he would not be able to stand at all ,only crouch, and leave him like that for a long time and let him see what it feels like. I bet next time he would be voting with the 5%.What a loser!

8:51AM PST on Mar 12, 2011

Thanks for sharing =]

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