Looks like there may be no statewide issues on the ballot this fall.
Jo Ingles of Ohio Public Radio & Television has been tweeting from the event all afternoon. Rather than have an expensive political referendum campaign where both parties were uncertain about the result in a politically winner take all, Governor Strickland was able to negotiate a deal between the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Humane Society of the United States, and the State’s Livestock Board.
As a result, farmers are able to continue long standing agricultural practices that they say will not impact their ability to supply food while animal rights activists can be satisfied with how animals are treated.
Under the deal (according to Ingles’ tweets), in the future exotic pets like alligators will no longer be legal, Ohio will crack down on the practice of puppy mills, phases out gestation crates by 2017, and cracks down on cockfighting by raising it to a felony level.
According the Humane Society’s press release, the deal:
- bans veal crates by 2017, which is the same timing as the ballot measure.
- bans on new gestation crates in the state after December 31, 2010. Existing facilities are grandfathered, but must cease use of these crates within 15 years.
- creates a moratorium on permits for new battery cage confinement facilities for laying hens.
- bans strangulation of farm animals and mandatory humane euthanasia methods for sick or injured animals.
- bans the transport of downer cows for slaughter.
No word if it also included a public stoning of Billy Jo Gregg, Jr. Yet.
The only political move John Kasich can make after Ted Strickland showed the kind of leadership to get two parties to bridge this wide of a political gap (It’s like getting the NRA and the Brady group to reach a deal on handguns, or Pro-Life and NARAL to settle abortion, but it’s not quite getting Israel and Palestine worked out) is to… what, exactly? Blame Ted Strickland for denying the voters an issue to crowd their ballot?
Congratulations, Governor Strickland, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and the Humane Society of the United States for reaching this common sense compromise.