Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer recently announced that animal care rules developed by the Livestock Care Standards Board will become effective on Sept. 29, 2011.
The establishment of comprehensive livestock care standards is required by Ohio's constitution following the passage of State Issue 2 in 2009. The statewide ballot initiative specified creation of the 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board with the responsibility of obtaining industry and public input in developing livestock rules for alpacas, beef, dairy, goats, horses, llamas, pork, poultry, sheep and veal.
"The members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board and representatives from Ohio's agricultural community devoted the past 18 months to developing and vetting the most comprehensive livestock care standards in the nation," Zehringer says. "States from around the country are now looking towards Ohio's leadership in developing these new standards."
Ohio's livestock care rules, which become effective with the director of agriculture's signature, will be signed on Sept. 29, 2011 at a special ceremony in Fort Recovery. That date concludes an extensive outreach effort by the department and Ohio's farm organizations to inform Ohioans raising or caring for livestock about the new rules.
"We have already started the process of educating Ohio farmers about these new rules and it is our goal to spend the next several weeks in continuing to provide the state's agricultural community information about them before they go into effect," says Zehringer.
As part of its education effort the department has developed printable guides to help producers understand the new standards. A series of information sessions hosted by David Glauer, former state veterinarian, has also been scheduled around the state.
The meetings are open to the public and will feature a presentation on the new livestock care standards as well as an opportunity to ask ODA staff questions about the new rules.
The dates and locations of those two-hour evening meetings include;
Wednesday Aug. 24 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Hillsboro.
Southern State Community College (Auditorium), 100 Hobart Drive
Wednesday, Aug. 6:00 – 8:00 Wooster
Ohio State University OARDC (Shisler Center Ballroom), 1680 Madison Avenue
Wednesday, Sept. 14 6:00 – 8:00 Lima
Independence Elementary School, 615 Tremont Avenue
Tuesday, Sept. 27 6:00 – 8:00 Zanesville
Ohio University – Zanesville Campus (The Campus Center T430 & 431), 1425 Newark Road
Thursday, Sept. 29 6:00 – 8:00 Fort Recovery
American Legion, 2490 State Route 49 N.
Information about the livestock care standards, printable guides and the informational sessions can be found on the Department's website at www.ohiolivestockcarestandards.gov.