Chicken Dance: New Regulations for Ohio Farmers

Kirk Irwin for The New York TimesThere has been some small but significant progress made in the effort to rein in the worst impulses of factory-farmed livestock. Ohio farmers recently reached an agreement with animal rights activists to change the way they raise chickens, veal and pork. From the New York Times:

Hoping to avoid a divisive November referendum that some farmers feared they would lose, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio urged farm leaders to negotiate with opponents, led by the Humane Society of the United States. After secret negotiations, the sides agreed to bar new construction of egg farms that pack birds in cages, and to phase out the tight caging of pregnant sows within 15 years and of veal calves by 2017.

Farmers in Ohio have accepted the agreement with chagrin, saying they sense that they must bend with the political and cultural winds.

This deal comes on the heels of new regulations in California, Michigan, Florida and Arizona.