Appalachian Ohio Group  updated September 14, 2009

Serving Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Vinton and Washington Counties

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Appalachian Ohio Group Sierra Club Announcements 10-26-2009
 
Vote NO on Issue 2
 
November 3 is Election Day.  The Ohio Sierra Club urges you to vote NO on Issue 2.  The full text of this amendment to the constitution to create an agribusiness dominated “Livestock Care Standards Board” can be found at
www.sos.state. oh.us/SOS/ elections/ IssueProcBallotB d/BallotBoard. aspx#Issues.  
 
A statement from the Ohio Sierra Club Agricultural Chair along with sites of other groups opposing this issue is given below.
 
SIERRA CLUB EVENTS (see details below)
 
Sunday Nov. 1: AOG Outing: Potluck & Hiking/Kayaking at Lake Snowden (12 noon)
 
NON-SIERRA CLUB EVENTS (see details below)
 
Tuesday Nov. 3: Election Day
 
EVENT DETAILS
 
******
Nov. 1 Sunday 12 noon
AOG Outing: Potluck at Lake Snowden Shelterhouse. Weather permitting kayaking or easy hike as people desire. We will build a fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows. Bring your choice of hot dogs and your own table service. Contact Sonja at sonjapqconsultant@ yahoo.com.
 
******
Nov. 3 Tuesday
Election Day.  Please take time to vote and please vote NO on Issue 2.
 
VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2
Written by Laurel Hopwood, Ohio Sierra Club Agriculture Co-Chair
 
Animals raised for our dinner plate are raised in various ways. Some are outside in pasture; some live in the barn, and others are raised in factories, called CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). Factory raised pigs, veal, and chicken are raised in the dark in tiny cages so narrow they can't turn around. Sierra Club opposes CAFOs. Among the many concerns is the huge amount of manure produced which degrades the air and water. Our families are also affected because the daily use of antibiotics in these animal factories contributes to the significant rise in infections that resist treatment to common
antibiotics.
 
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) got reforms enacted in 7 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon). The HSUS had meetings with the state farm bureaus and reforms were negotiated. The HSUS then reached out to the Ohio Farm Bureau to start a dialogue about phasing out certain confinement practices. The Ohio Farm Bureau refused to negotiate. Instead, the OFB pulled an preempt by getting a constitutional amendment (Issue 2) on the ballot,
which will give them total control.
 
Issue 2 calls for the creation of an Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to oversee animal treatment. It's expected the most of the 13 members of this board will be political appointments. Instead of working on a reforms, agribusiness is spending  $7 million to get its favored oversight system enshrined in our state's constitution.
 
OHIO SIERRA CLUB OPPOSES ISSUE 2. To amend Ohio’s constitution by creating an industry-dominated council to oversee farm animal treatment is poor policy and an attempt to thwart meaningful reform. Once cemented into the Constitution, this board could override acts by the state legislature. This chills public debate and infringes on our
democratic rights, the foundation our country was built on.
 
Many other groups and individuals oppose Issue 2:
 
* Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA): www.oeffa.org/ alerts.php
 * League of Women Voters of Ohio: www.lwvohio. org/base. cfm?page_ id=1671
 
Here are clips from editorials in major Ohio dailies:
 
Plain Dealer editorial, 7/06/09:
(edited)
“The General Assembly's rush to add a livestock standards amendment to the Ohio Constitution is questionable. Someone at the Statehouse needs to be an adult.... The most damaging aspect is that the proposed Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board would pre-empt real Statehouse debate on farm animal standards... . The amendment and the process that produced it invite a pungent description. But this is a family newspaper, so we'll just call the whole thing hogwash.”
 
Columbus Dispatch, 6/26/09:
(edited)
“Don't use state constitution to set livestock-care rules or other detailed policies....  Consumer views on how food is raised are evolving and will continue to do so. That's why government's agricultural policies should be set by statute, where they can be debated and changed relatively easily through the normal legislative process. Changing the constitution requires a statewide vote of the people, making it an unwieldy tool for day-to-day regulation.”
 
Dayton Daily News editorial, 10/1/09:
(edited)
“Chances are good that the board would be dominated by farming interests and could become a rubber stamp for corporate farms especially.. .. The way this amendment proposal was put forward smells. The idea of putting it on the ballot was rammed through the legislature in a matter of days. If the Ohio Farm Bureau and poultry and livestock associations are as dedicated to transparency and public accountability as they say they are, there was no need for the secrecy or the rush.”
 
Columbus Dispatch editorial,  9/13/09:
(edited)
“Ohio Constitution is wrong place to address livestock-care standards. Such a board easily could be created by legislation, which would allow a full debate of the issue and would mean the board and its function could evolve as farming practices and societal standards evolve.... Over two centuries, Ohio's legislature has created boards, panels and commissions to regulate industries.. .. To alter the constitution would put the state on a new path in which it rewrites the fundamental basis of its government out of fear of boogeymen... .  Voters should consider whether the integrity of the state constitution should be jeopardized to produce an end that easily could be achieved through the legislative process.”
 

The non-Sierra Club activities are listed as a service and are not sponsored nor administered by the Sierra Club.  The Sierra Club has no information about the planning of those activities and it makes no representations or warranties about the quality, safety, supervision or management of such activities.