Archive for the ‘Proposition 2’ Category

California’s Prop 2 to get facelift

June 24, 2009

Opponents of Prop 2 see a chance for clarification on confinement standards

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Egg producers who export their product to California from other states may find themselves having to meet the same animal housing standards as their California competition.

California Assembly Bill 1437 would require that laying hens in other states be treated to the same conditions as those in California if farmers want to sell their product in the Golden State. It passed the Assembly last week and is now under review in the Senate.

Last year, California voters approved Proposition 2 which forbids confining many farm animals in ways that inhibit their ability to engage in natural behaviors. Breeding pigs and veal calves, for example, are frequently held in pens that don’t allow them to even turn around. The proposal’s guidelines on chicken cages, in particular, drew a great deal of attention and voters passed the proposition by more than 63 percent.

Prop 2 called for the elimination of cages that prevent chickens from standing up, lying down, turning around, or being able to fully extend their wings by 2015. What Prop 2 didn’t offer were the new standards by which farmers are to operate. Assembly Bill 1437, introduced by Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) may offer a chance to finally delineate those standards.

“We need an enforceable legal standard,” Dennis Albiani, a lobbyist for the Association of California Egg Farmers, told Capital Press last week. “This is a criminal statute that puts the farmer and their employees at significant risk of fines and jail time.” Huffman’s AB 1437 is the means for establishing that legal standard, he said.

Indeed, legislative analysis of the bill noted “Opponents feel that AB 1437 should specify enclosure size per hen, how many hens per enclosure, and if current housing systems can be used or modified to comply with AB 1437 and Prop. 2.”

The bill moves on next to the Senate Health Committee where it will be read July 1.

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What does California’s Prop 2 mean for the future?

November 11, 2008
Almost a week after the election and the passage of California’s Prop 2, pundits on both sides of the issue are debating what happened and what the longer term consequences will be both for farmers and consumers. Brownfield Ag News has this report, with comments from the Humane Society of the United States and Animal Agriculture Alliance.

Consumers need permission to live as hypocrites

November 8, 2008

Following the success of Proposition 2 in California earlier this week, livestock farmers are wondering how to accommodate or simply to understand the demands of their customers.

Prop 2, which passed by more than 60 percent, requires livestock farmers to supply certain livestock with a minimum of space for movement. Most notably, the proposition was also directed toward poultry production, a first in the United States.

The increasing interest in animal welfare, including the welfare of agricultural livestock destined for slaughter, is not a passing fad, according to Dr. Wes Jamison, a researcher at the University of Florida specializing in agricultural politics. Jamison spoke with a reporter for Brownfield Ag News at a conference in Lincoln, Neb. Friday.

“The other side has figured out the language to sell these initiatives,” Jamison said, and it’s important that agriculturalists learn this language as well.

For urban consumers, animals have assumed an entirely new role and are widely regarded as members of the family, Jamison said. That viewpoint has been extended to agricultural animals, and farmers need to understand that and respond in kind. They must demonstrate to consumers its OK to love animals and to eat them.

You have to give them permission to live as hypocrites, Jamison said.

For the full story at Brownfield click here and here.

Chickens win over gay rights

November 5, 2008

In one of the more odd moments in what has been nothing shy of an earth-shaking election, California’s chickens have come out on top in a race that has left gay and lesbian Californian’s feeling like second class citizens.

Voters in California have approved Proposition 2, or “Standards for Confining Farm Animals”. Prop 2 would require “that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in ways that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely”.

Proposition 8 would require an amendment to California’s constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. As of this writing, Prop 2 had support from about 70 percent of voters (or a ratio of 3-2, according to the San Francisco Chronicle). Prop 8 also appears to have won, 52 to 48 percent.

The results of Prop 2 won’t be fully implemented for more than six years. The lawsuits stemming from Prop 8 should begin just about any moment now.