xotic animal sellers and owners say they were caught off-guard by Gov. Ted Strickland's announcement Wednesday that he will issue an executive order banning the sale and possession of "wild and dangerous animals" such as bears, primates and crocodiles.
"Everybody woke up this morning to see that they agreed to this," said Terry Wilkins, owner of Captive Born Reptiles, whose two Columbus stores sell pythons and other large and small snakes. "Strickland and the Farm Bureau - there's going to be hell to pay.
"Why would they agree to this?" Wilkins asked. "These folks are attempting to put me out of business."
Existing owners of such animals would be allowed to keep them under a grandfather clause but could not breed them or obtain more.
The executive order was in an eight-part, three-way deal brokered by Strickland between the Humane Society of the United States and the Ohio Farm Bureau. It stops a proposed constitutional amendment on farm-animal-care reforms from appearing on the November ballot. The Humane Society agreed to drop the issue after collecting more than 500,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.
So, the Farm Bureau went wobbly, too? Shame on them, as they were one of the groups heavily behind the ballot issue the voters passed. But wait, it gets worse:
Meanwhile, farmers had a mixed reaction to the deal which included no restrictions on existing farms that raise hens in small "battery cages," but would ban additional permits for new farms using the cages after this year. New hog farms would not be permitted to use so-called "gestation stalls" for pregnant sows after 2010, but all existing stalls can remain until 2025. And the state would adopt standards for "group housing" (instead of the small crates) for veal calves by 2017.
"It's a giant step backwards," said Pete Dull, co-owner of a 6,000-pig farm near Brookville in Montgomery County. "This makes me sick to my stomach."
Dull said he plans to stop raising hogs when the ban on gestational crates takes effect in 2025.
And what happens if other farmers decide to do the same? More importation of pork from elsewhere, meaning an increase in price to the consumer. Also, pork farm jobs which can help rural people during certain seasons as well as permanent jobs all go bye bye. Oh well, at least the animal rights lobby can claim another victory. Meanwhile, more people will go hungry because they cannot afford things like eggs or chicken or pork. But, hey, we can all be happy because it makes us feel good we did something for the animals....woohoo.
Of course, rather than mount a campaign to get people informed how disastrous the HSUS ideas are, let's give them the bulk of what they want. They wouldn't ever want more, right? I mean, liberals always keep their promises, right? Keep dreaming.
Ted Strickland doesn't give a damn what the voters thought. He thought you would be too stupid to vote against kook amendments. He doesn't deserve another chance. Vote Kasich in the fall.