In the Nov. 3 election, Ohio voters gave their approval to Issue 2, the ballot measure to amend the state constitution and create a livestock care standards board.

Ohio voters convincingly supported Issue 2, as 63.66% (or 1,959,669 people) voted to pass the measure, while 36.34% or 1,118,805 individuals, voted “no.”

Athens County was the lone county with a majority of voters opposing Issue 2.

The constitutional amendment will create a state Livestock Care Standards Board. The 13-member board, comprised mostly of farmers, veterinarians and agricultural industry leaders, will create and implement livestock care guidelines.

The next step is for the Ohio General Assembly to create enabling legislation and the board appointments to be made.


The ballot measure was triggered by conversations between the Humane Society of the United States and Ohio ag leaders last February, in which the HSUS hoped to carve out a working relationship to develop livestock care standards like those negotiated in Colorado (and most recently in Michigan this fall). More specifically, HSUS said it wanted to ban the use of poultry cages, veal crates and gestation stalls in the Buckeye State.

If Ohio ag groups chose not to work with the HSUS, the activist group leaders said they would take the battle to legislators or work to pass a ballot initiative in 2010.

Ohio ag leaders, however, quickly moved to push the idea of a constitutional amendment to create the livestock care standards board, feeling the proactive approach would have a stronger ag foundation than that pushed by the Humane Society of the United States.

Ohio has spoken

Ohio Sen. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, said he was excited about the margin of approval, calling it a sign that Ohioans believe in what the board will provide.

“I think the people of Ohio want to support family farms and agriculture and that’s great.”

Gibbs was the Senate’s lead sponsor of the bill, when the ballot initiative was moving through the legislature.

“As strong as this thing passed yesterday, I think consumers are showing they want to make sure we have locally grown food and the animals are cared for.”

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