Ohio Agriculture Director James Zehringer has announced that animal care rules developed by the Livestock Care Standards Board will become effective on Sept. 29, 2011.

The enactment is required by Ohio’s constitution following the passage of State Issue 2 in 2009. The statewide ballot initiative called for the creation of the 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, formed to secure industry and public input to develop livestock rules.

“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,” Zehringer says. “States from around the country are now looking towards Ohio’s leadership in developing these new standards.”

The rules become effective with the director of agriculture’s signature at a special ceremony in Fort Recovery, OH. An extensive outreach effort has already begun to inform Ohioans raising or caring for livestock about the new rules.

“We have already started the process of educating Ohio farmers about the new rules, and it is our goal to spend the next several weeks in continuing to provide the state’s agricultural community information about them before they go into effect,” Zehringer says.

Printable guidelines are being developed. A series of informational sessions hosted by David Glauer, DVM, former state veterinarian, have been scheduled around the state in late August and through September. This information can be found on the agriculture department’s Web site: www.ohiolivestockcarestandards.gov.

The swine guidelines require that group housing methods for pregnant sows must be used by the end of 2025. After that, gestation stalls for pregnant sows can only be used until the confirmation of pregnancy or for special circumstances such as to treat an injury or to separate frail, thin or aggressive swine that jeopardize their own welfare or the welfare of other pigs.