A strong national movement is developing to ban one of the cruelest practices in animal agriculture—the use of cages and crates for confinement on factory farms. On November 4, 2008, Californians voted to pass one of the most important farmed animal protection legislation ever written in this country. The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act—Proposition 2. It aimed to give farmed animals enough space to turn around and stretch their limbs, and remains the standard for laws that limit the abuses of animals on factory farms.
Seven years later, we’re continuing our work to ban these inhumane practices in other states. We have teamed up with Citizens for Farm Animal Protection to help pass a historic ballot initiative that would ban the confinement of farmed animals in Massachusetts. Similar measures have passed in other states, but this win in Massachusetts would be monumental because, unlike California’s Proposition 2 (which passed by a landslide despite the more than $10 million that opposition groups spent to defeat it), the Massachusetts ballot initiative defines specific space requirements for farmed animals.
Industry groups are fighting this ballot initiative, which would mandate that, starting in 2022, Massachusetts farms and businesses only produce and sell products from animals raised without the use of cages and crates. Those two words, “and sell,” are nationally unprecedented, and mean that any business that wishes to sell animal products in Massachusetts, no matter what state that business calls home, would forgo the use of cages and crates. A win in Massachusetts would likely lead to improvements in the lives of millions of farmed animals from coast to coast.
Industry groups will again likely spend millions fighting this measure, but we’re confident that the compassion of voters will again prevail. If you live in or near Massachusetts, please take advantage of this watershed moment to help us improve the lives of farmed animals! We can’t win without your help! One state and one law at a time, together, we’re going to change the way our nation eats and farms.