Nov 30, 2007
Californians for Humane Farms is leading an historic effort on behalf of farm animals in California. Endorsed by WSPA and supported by a number of animal protection organizations, including several WSPA Member Societies, the aim is to simply ensure that the animals have enough room to turn around and extend their limbs. This modest measure will vastly improve the lives of 20 million animals and takes a step forward in re-visioning modern farming methods.
The citizens of California will get to vote in November 2008 on the groundbreaking Prevention of Farm Cruelty Act. If enacted, the measure would provide basic needs for calves, sows, and hens by eliminating the most egregious confinement systems used on California's factory farms and allowing them to express their natural behaviors:
Veal Crates– Narrow crates, barely larger than each young calf they confine, don't allow the animals enough room to turn around or lie down, with no hope of frolicking in green pastures like happy cows.
Gestation Crates– Pregnant pigs are trapped in two foot narrow, barren metal cages, unable to turn around let alone get any exercise. An estimated 20,000 sows live in these conditions in California during their four month pregnancies.
Battery Cages– In California alone, approximately 19 million egg-laying hens are confined in cages so small that the birds can't walk, stretch their wings, peck and scratch at the ground or perch.
The launch of this ballot initiative illustrates the mounting concern for the welfare of farm animals. Arizona, Florida and Oregon have banned gestation crates with Arizona also banning veal crates. The European Union has banned all three confinement systems.
Environmentalists, veterinarians, food safety advocates and many others have joined Californians for Humane Farms. By eliminating high density factory farms with their heavy concentration of animal waste, we can reduce air and water pollution and the risk of disease transmission associated with these facilities. Those are just a few more reasons to give California's farm animals a bit of freedom.
On February 28th, Californians for Humane Farms submitted nearly 800,000 signatures from registered California voters to qualify this anti-cruelty measure for the November ballot. Here's how you can help:
If you live in California, you can help Californians for Humane Farms. Visit www.humanecalifornia.org to volunteer.
If you live elsewhere, let friends and family living in California know about this vital initiative by forwarding this alert on to them.