California’s Proposition 2

Measure to Provide Better Treatment of Farm Animals Passes

Voters passed Proposition 2 with 63% of voters in favor and 37% of voters against the measure.  California became the first state in the nation to outlaw confining cages for egg-laying hens and ban restrictive pens for veal calves and pregnant sows.  Because there are few veal producers in the state and the largest pork producer here voluntarily plans to eliminate small crates, the law will mostly affect the state’s 20 million egg-laying hens. It does not go into effect until 2015.Read the Los Angeles Times Story:

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/nov/05/local/me-farm5

Media Attention Before the Vote:

The Farm Animal Welfare Initiative Placed on California Ballot as Proposition 2 which would require ” … that an enclosure or tether confining specified farm animals allow the animals for the majority of every day to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up, and turn around. Specified animals include calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens, and pregnant pigs. Exceptions made for transportation, rodeos, fairs, 4-H programs, lawful slaughter, research and veterinary purposes. Provides misdemeanor penalties, including a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for up to 180 days …”

The text of the statement about Proposition 2 on the State ballot is posted at
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm#2008General

The text of the initiative is posted at
http://ag.ca.gov/cms_pdfs/initiatives/2007-08-09_07-0041_Initiative.pdf

The initiative is opposed by Californians for SAFE Food, a coalition of public health and food safety experts, labor unions, consumers, family farmers and veterinarians supported by Moark, LLC and Foster Poultry Farms information about which is posted at
http://www.safecaliforniafood.org/

The initiative is endorsed by Californians for Humane Farms, sponsored by The Humane Society of the US and Farm Sanctuary (major funders) information about which is posted at
http://www.humanecalifornia.org/

On August 26, 2008, the American Veterinary Medicine Association issued a statement on Proposition 2 that ” … while admirable in its attempt to address the behavioral needs of animals, contains livestock confinement standards that may hurt the animals they are intended to help …” – The AVMA news release is posted at
http://www.avma.org/press/releases/080826_california_proposition2.asp