Nov 7, 2008
On November 4th voters across the United States turned up in record numbers to make their voices heard for the Presidential election as well as for many crucial state and local initiatives. We're thrilled to report that among these, voters passed two historic ballot initiatives that will greatly improve the lives of animals.
Fifty-six percent of Massachusetts voters spoke up for greyhounds by voting “Yes” for a ballot initiative that will phase out commercial dog racing in the state by 2010. Despite a major advertising campaign launched by the opposition, over 1.6 million people voted in favor of the initiative. This is a huge victory for the many animal welfare groups and volunteers who worked hard to get this measure passed and will have a direct impact on the over 1,000 greyhounds at Massachusetts's two racing tracks. These dogs will no longer have to spend twenty hours a day confined in small stacked cages and risk injuries associated with racing including broken bones, paralysis, seizure, head trauma and death.
WSPA's USA office in Boston is especially thrilled that Massachusetts will no longer be one of only 10 states where commercial dog racing is still legal and operational, and we hope this measure will inspire other states to take similar actions.
In California a wide majority of voters - 63% - approved Proposition 2, an initiative to pass the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. This landmark victory will improve the lives of nearly 20 million farm animals who are currently confined and crammed into cages on factory farms throughout California. By phasing out the use of battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates, the law not only benefits animals in California, but also sends a strong message that these confinement methods are cruel and should be banned. Congratulations to California for joining a growing number of states, as well as several countries across the world, who have voted to ban these cruel confinement systems.
Again WSPA would like to say thank you to all Massachusetts and California voters, member societies around the US, and everyone who worked so hard to get these two initiatives passed!