Fight against HSUS ballot issue in California

HSUS has gathered enough signatures for a ballot issue to be voted on by Californians. The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act would prevent California farms from confining animals in crates or cages, specifically, veal crates for calves, battery cages for egg-laying hens and gestation stalls for breeding sows. The new law would take effect in 2015.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of listening to Gene Gregory, CEO of United Egg Producers, speak about the issue. I’m pleased that United Egg Producers is launching an aggressive campaign against the ballot issue. They’ve had great success recently keeping similar legislation from passing in other states, but this will be the first time they’ve confronted it as a ballot issue.

Gregory shared that the United Egg Producers Certified program, which established bird handling guidelines based on science, has been key in their victories. Last month, the group released and economic analysis explaining passage of the November state ballot measure would cost 3,400 jobs and a loss of $615 million to the state’s economy, as it would essentially make egg production in California no longer an option.

Stay tuned for updates on the UEP campaign and how you can get involved.

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3 Comments

Filed under Battery Cages, HSUS, legislation, Prop 2

3 responses to “Fight against HSUS ballot issue in California

  1. It is cruel and inhumane to confine animals in cages so small they can’t turn around or stretch their limbs. Veal calves are chained by the neck and confined in tiny crates, pigs in metal cages barely larger than their bodies, hens with less space than a letter-sized sheet of paper. It’s like being forced to live in a middle airplane seat for your entire life. The Pew Commission on Industrial Animal Production – an independent panel chaired by former Kansas Governor John Carlin and that included former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman – said the California ballot measure includes “the types of modest animal welfare public policy improvements that the Commissioners recommend implementing.” All animals deserve humane treatment, including those raised for food.

    Better practices are cost-effective and produce healthier food. Family farmers know food quality is enhanced by better farming methods. More and more, these farmers are supplying major retailers like Burger King and Safeway, who are demanding products from farmers who do not confine animals in tiny cages. The egg industry’s own California-based economist reports that producing cage-free eggs costs less than one penny per egg more.

    More info at http://www.HumaneCalifornia.org

  2. Mark Hawthorne

    I have spent hours inside battery sheds, and they are among the cruelest places I’ve ever seen. Six or seven hens crammed into a tiny wire cage is no way to treat any animal, and I know humanity can do better.

    Moreover, there is a growing concern that this type of farming is also contributing to the depletion of our resources, pollution and global warming. In fact, after a two-year study, the Pew Commission recently recommended a phase-out of “the most intensive and inhumane confinement practices”: gestation crates, veal crates and battery cages. The esteemed panel of scientists, veterinary school officials, ranchers and public officials cited unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and animal welfare.

    It’s time to give a little room to the animals from whom we ask so much.

  3. Pingback: California Ballot Issue - responding to misconceptions « Beefbites’s Weblog

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