Californians pass farm animal cage confinement ban
A California initiative to ban the confinement of farm animals in cages overwhelmingly passed on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, pleasing the Humane Society of the United States.
Proposition 12, which sets space requirements for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs and calves being raised for veal, also bans in California the sale of eggs and meat from animals that are not kept according to the state’s standards, including products from animals raised out of state.
Humane Society of the United States Acting President Kitty Block said, “California voters have sent a loud and clear message that they reject cruel cage confinement in the meat and egg industries.”
“Thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers and coalition partners who made this victory happen, millions of veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens will never know the misery of being locked in a tiny cage for the duration of their lives.”
Proposition 12 was led by a coalition of animal protection, environmental, food safety and sustainable farming organizations. It was supported by more than 600 California veterinarians and veterinary clinics, more than 100 California family farmers and thousands of volunteers.
“The passage of Proposition 12 is ground-breaking for the welfare of animals and has raised the bar at an important time in our consideration of what farm to table means in this country,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Californians have resoundingly voted to acknowledge that further expanding the humane treatment of animals matters in our society and we applaud them.”
In addition to the successful campaign to pass Proposition 12, a dozen states now have laws cracking down on extreme confinement, and the biggest food retailers in the nation, including Walmart, Safeway, Costco, Burger King and hundreds of others, are requiring their meat and egg suppliers to eliminate cages, the HSUS said.
Farm groups opposed the proposition but did not keep pace with the animal rights advocates.
–The Hagstrom Report
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News