By the end of September, Ohio farmers will be subject to new rules and regulations regarding the treatment of livestock on Ohio farms. The new regulations are widespread, applying new standards to several different animal species and governing proper feeding, living conditions, and even acceptable methods of euthanasia.
In part, these new regulations are the result of a series of undercover farm videos that have been circulating across the country. These videos, made by animal rights activists, have depicted various graphic examples of animal cruelty, causing damaging publicity for the livestock industry across the country.
Some states have responded to these videos by cracking down on their production. Both Iowa and Florida passed laws restricting the ability of activists to make undercover films on a farm without permission from the farmer.
However, another important development in the wake of this bad publicity has been a tightening of livestock rules. These regulations, which the Ohio Department of Agriculture insists is not a punitive measure to punish farmers, are an effort to make sure that farm regulations are uniform across the state.
The reaction to these regulations has been largely positive. Many farmers say that they will have to make no changes to their current policies as they already comply with the stricter laws, proof, they say, of the responsibility of Ohio farmers. While some cattle farmers, particularly in the veal industry, have complained that the regulations could hurt their business, many others insist that the status quo in Ohio livestock farming will not change.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer