The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) is applauding a deal struck between Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and state leaders that spell out new animal welfare standards including bans on veal and gestation crates.

“This agreement represents a joint effort to find common ground. As a result, Ohio agriculture will remain strong and animals will be treated better,” Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said at a press conference about the deal June 30. “Instead of expending tens of millions of dollars and unproductive energy fighting an acrimonious campaign through the fall, both sides will be able to continue investing in our agricultural base and taking care of animals.”

The new deal recommends adoption of several livestock care standards like bans on veal crates by 2017 and on gestation crates by Dec. 31, 2010. Existing facilities with gestation crates will be grandfathered in for 15 years. The deal also includes a moratorium on permits for new battery cage confinement facilities for laying hens, a ban on strangulation of livestock and a call for mandatory humane euthanasia methods, and a ban on transporting downer cows for slaughter.

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What do you think about the compromise between the agriculture community and HSUS? Is HSUS pushing their agendas forward, with or without the public's approval? Does it undermine the authority of the Livestock Care Standards Board, established by Ohio voters in the last election? Share your thoughts today.