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 Proposition 12, a modest measure to protect the most abused animals in the pork, veal, and egg industries.
Prop 12 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 Prop 12
- Most pork sold in California today comes from factory farms using gestation crates. Prop 12 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. Prop 12 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. Prop 12 will cover them, protecting millions more birds.
- Prop 2 says that animals must be able to turn around and spread their wings. Prop 12 will retain that protection while explicitly 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.
Prop 12 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.
Prop 12, 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
Prop 12 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
Prop 12 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 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.