New animal care rules developed by the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board will become effective on September 29, 2011, according to Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer.

The establishment of comprehensive livestock care standards is required by Ohio’s constitution following the passage of State Issue 2 in 2009. The statewide ballot initiative specified creation of the 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board with the responsibility of obtaining industry and public input in developing livestock rules for alpacas, beef, dairy, goats, horses, llamas, pork, poultry, sheep and veal. “The members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board and representatives from Ohio’s agricultural community devoted the past 18 months to developing and vetting the most comprehensive livestock care standards in the nation,” said Zehringer.

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According to Zehringer, the next several weeks will be spent providing the state’s agricultural community with information about the new rules before they go into effect. As part of its education effort the department has developed printable guides to help producers understand the new standards, and a series of information sessions has been scheduled around the state.