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Activists release Ohio veal farm video aimed at pressuring Care Standards Board

The animal rights activist group Mercy for Animals Tuesday released an undercover video taken at an Ohio veal farm – action the group’s state “campaign coordinator” said was intended to pressure the new Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to ban veal crates immediately. A Columbus, Ohio, TV station reported the video showed veal calves “chained by their necks to narrow stalls, unable to turn around or easily lie down.”

The veal farm, Buckeye Veal, said areas of the farm featured in the video are being converted to group housing. In a statement, Buckeye said, “We know from experience that veal calves can be properly cared for in both individual and group pens. However, we know that the needs and demands of our customers are changing. That’s why we made a decision to convert all of our facilities to group housing, a process to be completed by 2013. This is well ahead of the deadlines established by the American Veal Association…we will continue to raise wholesome veal in a responsible and ethical manner.”

In June, the Humane Society of the U.S. and several Ohio agriculture groups reached an agreement that would, among other things, phase out the use of veal crates by 2017. Robert Boggs, chairman of the Care Standards Board, said the veal subcommittee is already in the process of drafting recommendations that will be presented and vetted by the Board’s Technical Committee and then presented to the full Board.

“We will take as long as we need to make sure that the rules and regulations that we adopt not only take care of the health of animals but also the health of humans,” Boggs said. “I think there is middle ground, but you can’t find it 24 seconds after somebody says, ‘Do something.'”

The Ohio Beef Council released a statement that said, in part, that all state cattle producers “firmly understand that responsible animal care and (the) well-being of our herds is our top priority. We take allegations of mistreatment on any livestock farm seriously, and advocate swift action against those found to be mistreating animals.

“However, it is essential to discern between animal mistreatment and production practices that ensure the safety of farm animals and the safe production of food. It is equally important to understand that this video was specially produced to further the particular agenda of one activist group.”

The animal rights activist group Mercy for Animals Tuesday released an undercover video taken at an Ohio veal farm – action the group’s state “campaign coordinator” said was intended to pressure the new Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to ban veal crates immediately. A Columbus, Ohio, TV station reported the video showed veal calves “chained by their necks to narrow stalls, unable to turn around or easily lie down.”

The veal farm, Buckeye Veal, said areas of the farm featured in the video are being converted to group housing. In a statement, Buckeye said, “We know from experience that veal calves can be properly cared for in both individual and group pens. However, we know that the needs and demands of our customers are changing. That’s why we made a decision to convert all of our facilities to group housing, a process to be completed by 2013. This is well ahead of the deadlines established by the American Veal Association…we will continue to raise wholesome veal in a responsible and ethical manner.”

In June, the Humane Society of the U.S. and several Ohio agriculture groups reached an agreement that would, among other things, phase out the use of veal crates by 2017. Robert Boggs, chairman of the Care Standards Board, said the veal subcommittee is already in the process of drafting recommendations that will be presented and vetted by the Board’s Technical Committee and then presented to the full Board.

“We will take as long as we need to make sure that the rules and regulations that we adopt not only take care of the health of animals but also the health of humans,” Boggs said. “I think there is middle ground, but you can’t find it 24 seconds after somebody says, ‘Do something.'”

The Ohio Beef Council released a statement that said, in part, that all state cattle producers “firmly understand that responsible animal care and (the) well-being of our herds is our top priority. We take allegations of mistreatment on any livestock farm seriously, and advocate swift action against those found to be mistreating animals.

“However, it is essential to discern between animal mistreatment and production practices that ensure the safety of farm animals and the safe production of food. It is equally important to understand that this video was specially produced to further the particular agenda of one activist group.”


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