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Livestock cruelty opponents may appeal to the voters

Tom Jackson • Mar 2, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Last year, the  Humane Society launched a ballot drive to force a statewide vote on livestock cruelty. It was called off at the last moment after Gov. Ted Strickland helped broker a compromise between farmers and animal rights activists.

The Humane Society is threatening to renew the ballot drive. Tuesday, the Livestock Care Standards Board voted to allow veal calves to be confined in crates until they are 10 weeks old, confining them so that they can't even turn around.  The Humane Society says that violates last June's compromise agreement.

There's some evidence that farmers should think twice about forcing a ballot fight. The Humane Society has brought ballot measures to a vote in three states and won each time: in Florida, Arizona and California.  

All of the measures passed by wide margins, with the margins getting bigger each time. The "Yes" vote was 55  percent in Florida (2002), 62 percent in Arizona (2006) and 63.5 percent in California (2008).

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