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April 5, 2011

Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board Votes to Phase Out Veal Crates

The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board reversed a vote taken on March 1 that sanctioned confinement of veal calves in crates so small they’re unable to turn around for more than half of their lives before slaughter. Today’s vote gets the Board back in alignment with the carefully-crafted animal welfare agreement reached last June between The Humane Society of the United States and eight leading agricultural trade organizations, including the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

The phase-out of individual veal crates was one of eight planks in the agreement.

“We applaud the Ohio Livestock Board for making this sound and humane decision on phasing out the confinement of veal calves,” stated Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO. “Calves should have, at minimum, the opportunity to turn around for the duration of their short lives.” 

The Livestock Board received approximately 4,700 public comments on the proposed veal regulations after its March 1 vote, the overwhelming majority urging the board to reverse its decision. In addition, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association—whose recommendations reflect American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines—urged the board to adopt standards that allow calves to turn around.

Facts: 

  • In addition to the livestock provisions, the June agreement includes legislation to regulate puppy mills and address cockfighting. 
  • The agreement stipulates that all calves must be kept in group housing starting in 2017, which mirrors a 2007 pledge by the American Veal Association. 
  • In November 2010, the Livestock Board voted that all calves regardless of age must have the ability to turn around. 
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association’s policy states that “individual housing must allow the calf to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures.” The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association takes the same view.  
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