Ohio board reverses veal decision

April 6, 2011 at 2:45 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 6 (UPI) -- An Ohio livestock board says it has reversed its ruling on raising veal calves that jeopardized a 2010 agreement with the Humane Society of the United States.

In reversing a ruling made a month ago, the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board voted 11-0 in favor of a standard requiring that veal calves be raised in pens in which they have room to turn around, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Wednesday.

In its previous ruling on March 1 the 13-member board, in a split vote, had passed a standard that would have allowed farmers to raise veal in crates so narrow that they cannot turn around.

The board opened the ruling to public input, with most of the 4,700 subsequent comments opposing that standard.

Last year, the Humane Society gathered signatures of more than 500,000 Ohioans to put a livestock-care standards issue on the statewide ballot, but suspended the effort after Gov. Ted Strickland brokered a deal between the society, the Ohio Farm Bureau and eight other agriculture organizations.

The veal standard approved March 1 violated the agreement and could have meant putting the issue back on the ballot, the Humane Society said.

"We applaud the Ohio livestock board for making this sound and humane decision," Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society, said yesterday of the board's reversal.

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