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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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Ohio's Animal Welfare Standards Could be at Stake in Farm Bill

PHOTO: Sows lined up in crates. An undercover HSUS investigation in spring 2012 revealed cruelty and unsanitary conditions at a Wyoming pig breeding facility owned by a pork supplier. Courtesy of HSUS.
PHOTO: Sows lined up in crates. An undercover HSUS investigation in spring 2012 revealed cruelty and unsanitary conditions at a Wyoming pig breeding facility owned by a pork supplier. Courtesy of HSUS.
July 24, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Animal-rights advocates are perched on the edges of their seats as members of the U.S. House and Senate evaluate legislation to replace the Farm Bill that expires in September.

Two measures that directly affect animal welfare are part of the package. Both House and Senate bills include a version of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act. Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, explained what the act does.

"It would make it a crime to attend or to bring a child to a dog fight or a cockfight," he said.

The House version of the Farm Bill also includes an amendment by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. Pacelle predicts it would mean misery for many animals - including calves, pigs, chickens, puppies and even sharks - by tossing out state animal-welfare laws.

"If there's a state standard that says that the animals should be able to lie down, turn around, stand up and extend their limbs, that could be nullified by Steve King's amendment," he said. "He even opposed efforts to include pets in disaster planning."

King has said he believes the wide variety of state animal-welfare laws makes it difficult for food producers to comply with them. However, Pacelle said the King amendment could cancel the current rules of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board as well as laws in 33 other states. He said that has broad implications for food safety and environmental standards.

Despite complaints that cockfighting is part of the national heritage of some cultures, Pacelle said the legislation making it illegal to attend is not discriminatory.

"Unfortunately, people of many different backgrounds have engaged in animal fighting," he said. "But every poll we've conducted shows the vast majority of people of every background - white, black, Latino, Asian - they all overwhelmingly oppose animal fighting."

Pacelle noted that even Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback once convicted for illegal dog fighting, lobbied Congress in support of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act last year.

Mary Kuhlman/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - OH