Californians have shown time and time again that they want commonsense protections for animals, the environment, and food safety. Now they’re expressing support for Prevent Cruelty California, a modest measure to protect the most abused animals in the pork, veal, and egg industries.
This measure will prevent farm animals from being crammed into cages so small they can hardly move an inch. The measure will also ensure that food items sold in California are compliant with these modest standards. Major companies like Walmart and McDonald's are already implementing similar standards. And yet, agribusiness lobbyists are still fighting these common-sense, moderate regulations.
Facts about the ballot measure
- Most pork sold in California today comes from factory farms using gestation crates. The measure will ban the sale of pork from facilities that use these cruel crates, while setting the highest legal space requirements for pregnant pigs in the U.S.
- It's still legal to sell veal from crated calves in California. The measure will ban the sale of veal from facilities that use these cruel crates, while setting the highest legal space requirements for "veal calves" in the U.S.
- Liquid eggs (1/3 of all egg production) aren't covered under current California law. This will cover them, protecting millions more birds.
- Prop 2 says that animals must be able to turn around and spread their wings. This measure will retain that protection while explicity abolishing cage confinement, setting strong spatial standards, and requiring enrichments such as perches, nesting boxes, and more.
- This will add enforcement mechanisms to current CA law to allow increased ability to bring cases against violators.
This 2018 California ballot initiative explicitly establishes that eggs produced and sold in California come from cage-free birds. The birds will be able to walk throughout barns, dust bathe, perch, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nest boxes, all vital behaviors they're prevented from doing when confined in cages. While cage-free does not guarantee "cruelty-free," cage-free hens generally have significantly better lives than those confined inside battery cages.
This ballot measure, like almost any advance in the law, is about progress, not perfection. And if this measure passes, it would create the strongest law curtailing farm animal confinement in the world.
Science shows that pigs, chickens, and cows are intelligent, social animals. But on some industrialized factory farms, they’re locked in cages so small they can barely move. Independent animal welfare experts agree that this causes physical and mental suffering.
Improves food safety
This measure will eliminate unsafe products from the California marketplace. Cramming tens of thousands of animals into tiny cages promotes the spread of disease. That’s why the Center for Food Safety endorses the measure. Numerous studies show that Salmonella-the leading cause of food poisoning-related death in America-is more common in cage facilities than cage-free farms.
Protects the environment
This measure would protect rivers, air, and public health. Factory farms that confine farm animals in cages produce enormous amounts of concentrated waste that’s often contaminated with antibiotic residue and other dangerous chemicals. Factory farms are a leading cause of air and water pollution.
Promotes responsible farming
This measure will help promote responsible farming. Responsible California family farmers know the importance of treating animals with respect. And better animal welfare tends to mean better conditions for farm laborers.
Establishes modest sales standards
This measure would ensure that substandard, inhumane, and unsafe products from these cruel confinement systems aren’t sold in California. Economic analyses from the ag industry itself show that it would cost only about a penny or two more penny per egg to go cage-free, something the largest retailers are already doing. In fact, McDonald’s is going 100% cage-free and says it won’t raise its prices even a penny.