Director Boggs on HSUS/Mercy for Animals

Ohio is fortunate to have a strong Director of Agriculture in Robert Boggs. Director Boggs spoke with AgWeb.comEditor Greg Vincent earlier today about his reaction to the video released by Mercy For Animals depicting animal cruelty on a Plain City dairy. Director Boggs, after deploring the abuses shown in the widely distributed YouTube clip, was asked about how this situation relates to Ohio’s new Livestock Care Standards Board, and by extension, the ongoing efforts of HSUS to force that Board to adopt its narrow set of standards on animal housing.

In relating this story to the HSUS agenda, Director Boggs pointed out something that is very obvious, but that HSUS and their accomplices as Mercy For Animals, Farm Sancturary, etc., will deny and/or hide: “The language in their ballot initiative would not have prevented this action from taking place at all.”


The Director said, in 16 words, the most profound nugget of truth I’ve heard all day: animal abuse is size neutral. Activists at HSUS and their network of radical animal rights/vegan organizations continually claim that Ohio (and every other state) should adopt laws to prohibit certain animal housing practices because modern animal housing is somehow inhumane, and that “factory farms” are rife with animal abuse.

Flying in the face of that worn rhetoric is the Conklin situation. At this point in the investigation, a single employee has been charged with 12 acts of animal cruelty. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison and up to $9,000 in fines. And, since the investigation is ongoing, more charges are possible, perhaps even likely. The abuses depicted in the Mercy for Animals video did not take place on a “factory farm,” but on a farm nowhere near large enough to be regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Environmental Permitting Program.

In other words, animal abuse is size neutral. The actions taken by Billy Joe Gregg in abusing the cows and calves at the Conklin Farm are the actions of an individual, not a community. To tar an entire segment of Ohio’s economy through the actions of a single individual, or even a few individuals in a state of over 80,000 professional farmers is a gross injustice in and of itself.