Big News for Massachusetts Farm Animals! 2016 Ballot Measure Will Help Curb Abuse
In the veal industry, calves are often confined and tethered by their necks, rendered virtually immobile for nearly all of their short lives. Female breeding pigs face a similar fate: Confined to gestation crates, pregnant pigs cannot take more than one step in any direction. But if voters get their say, that may soon change in Massachusetts.
This morning, animal advocates gathered in Boston as Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, a coalition of animal welfare groups including the ASPCA, announced a new ballot proposal to phase out extreme and inhumane confinement systems used for breeding pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens in factory farms in the Bay State.
The cages and crates generally used to confine these animals are among the cruelest forms of factory farming. Forced to live in spaces barely larger than their bodies, hens, veal calves and pregnant pigs are often unable to even lie down, turn around or extend their limbs. The coalition will collect more than 90,000 signatures in order to qualify the proposal for the 2016 statewide ballot.
If approved by voters, Massachusetts will join 10 other states that have already passed laws cracking down on this type of farm animal abuse.
In addition to the ASPCA, the coalition includes the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Rescue League of Boston and The Humane Society of the United States, along with family farmers, veterinarians and public health professionals. The measure has won support from food safety advocates.
This is a huge step forward for Massachusetts’s farm animals, but we’re not there yet! Bay State advocates: if this important measure is to get on next year’s ballot, we’ll need your help. Please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade today to stay up-to-date as the campaign moves forward and for opportunities to help.
“So many animal confinement practices on farms are unacceptably cruel, preventing animals from fully extending their limbs or even turning around freely,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “No animal should have to suffer like that. We support this ballot initiative that rejects some of the cruelest farming practices used today.”