Ohio attorney general OKs farm animal rights measure

By Chris Rizo | Feb 5, 2010

Richard Cordray (D)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - A proposed Ohio constitutional amendment that would require minimum standards for housing farm animals has cleared the state attorney general's office, officials said Friday.

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, a Democrat, has approved a written summary of the proposed constitutional amendment.

The attorney general's determination that the ballot summary is a fair and truthful statement allows supporters to begin gathering signatures to get the measure on the statewide ballot.

Supporters will have to gather at least 402,275 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters spread across at least 44 of 88 counties to get on the November ballot.

The proposed amendment, backed by Ohioans for Humane Farms, would require a state board to prevent cruel and inhumane treatment of farm animals such as cattle, hogs and chickens.

Among other things, the measure would phase out veal crates and gestation crates. It also would require euthanasia of sick, so-called ''downer cows'' instead of them being taken to slaughter houses.

Under the proposal, the state board would have six years to implement the standards.

Last year, 64 percent of Ohio voters approved the creation of the Livestock Care Standards Board to oversee farm animal standards. The measure was Issue 2.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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