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CALIFORNIAN’S STAND UP AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY

NEW BALLOT INITIATIVE WILL PROHIBIT SOME OF THE MORE INHUMANE PRACTICES OF FACTORY FARMS

Chickens in cruel battery cagesThis Election Day, November 4th, Californians will have the opportunity to vote to bring an end to some of the more inhumane and cruel practices of factory farms.

The ballot initiative, known as Proposition 2, if passed, will force California ranchers to ensure that their chickens, veal calves and breeding pigs are housed in such a way that they have ample room to stand up, turn around or stretch. This is a far cry from the current method of penning the animals so tightly together that movement is all but impossible.

While the measure is a far cry from the ideal of allowing the animals to live cage free, as about 10% of California’s egg producing chickens do, according to today’s Associated Press, it is the farthest-reaching measure dealing with farm animal treatment ever put before voters in any state.

Needless to say major egg producers are opposing the initiative and insist the current method of mass production where California’s 19 million egg-laying chickens are crammed six at a time into 2 square foot wire cages for their entire life is the most efficient way to deliver inexpensive eggs.

To prevent Proposition 2 from passing, opponents have raised nearly $7.5 million, including donations of $100,000 or more from at least 15 poultry producers. Along with the large cash donations are the threats that egg producers will move out of state or across the boarder into Mexico if voters approve Proposition 2.

The good news is that supporters of Proposition 2 have raised nearly the same amount of money with a $3.8 million contribution from the Humane Society enhancing individual donations.

Proposition 2’s restrictions would take effect in 2015. Violations carry the ridiculously low fine of $1,000, but I guess that this is a start.

- – Denis

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