Californians to Vote on Treatment of Farm Animals
On November 4, Californians will vote on Proposition 2 - Standards for Confining Farm Animals. The measure would regulate the treatment of farm animals in terms of their confinement.
Tom Fudge : As usual, the November election is full of legislation on which voters need to cast their ballots. There are a dozen statewide propositions, and one of them is aimed at making life better for farm animals. Prop 2 impacts farmers who keep pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal or egg-laying hens. If approved, this would require farmers to pen those animals in a way that gives them room to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and - this is key - fully extend their limbs.
In California, Prop 2 would have little impact on calves and pigs, but the way it would affect chicken farms is huge. Chicken farming is a big industry in California, which has an estimated 19 million egg-laying chickens. Most of those birds are kept in small, communal cages that would become illegal once Prop 2 is enforced. Would this proposition put chicken farmers out of business, and if so, would it be worth it to give chickens more room during their short lives?