The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has voted to establish minimum standards of care for livestock and poultry in Indiana.

Presented for the first time at their mid-April quarterly board meeting, the proposal seeks to create a baseline for care built on five core principles:

  • Food and water
  • Shelter
  • Animal disease, injury and treatment
  • Animal stewardship and
  • Handling and transportation.

The goal is to provide definition of acceptable levels of care for livestock and poultry species for these five core principles.

“This is an issue that stirs a lot of passion and emotion in many people from different perspectives. By recognizing five core principles that apply to all Hoosier livestock and poultry producers, we feel this identifies a place of common ground to ensure all animals are cared for in the best ways possible. This is an innovative approach to the issue, and we feel this is the right direction for the state of Indiana,” says Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh.

The 2010 Indiana General Assembly tasked the Indiana State Board of Animal Health with developing standards of care for livestock and poultry in the state. The board consists of 11 members representing different livestock species, poultry, companion animals and the veterinary community.

Denise Derrer, BOAH public information director, says the public comment period is open until July 28. At that time, during the BOAH board meeting, plans are to have a second and final reading on the proposal. A copy of the proposal may be viewed online on the Board of Animal Health’s Web site at: www.boah.in.gov. Comments may be submitted to the agency, during the public comment period, via e-mail at animalhealth@boah.in.gov. Comments may be mailed to 4154 N. Keystone Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46205.