Massachusetts Farm Animal Ballot Campaign Makes History

December 2, 2015

This afternoon in Boston the ASPCA, along with our coalition partners in Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, will celebrate a tremendous victory as we submit the signatures of more than 130,000 Massachusetts voters to the Secretary of Commonwealth. This phenomenal effort was supported by an army of over 1,000 volunteers, hundreds of whom fanned out across the state to collect signatures for a proposed ballot measure to phase out certain extreme forms of animal confinement at industrial-style factory farms (as well as ensure that products sold in the Commonwealth meet the same modest animal-protection standard regardless of where they’re produced).

The number of signatures collected in support of placing this measure on the 2016 Massachusetts ballot is double the amount required, and is the largest number of signatures collected for an animal-related ballot measure in state history.

Citizens for Farm Animal Protection includes veterinarians, animal welfare groups, farmers and others who are pushing back against a profit-mad agribusiness industry that, over the past few decades, has made farm animal suffering the new normal in this country. If Massachusetts voters enact this measure next fall, it would protect the state’s egg-laying hens, veal calves and pregnant sows by ensuring that these animals are given enough space to turn around, stand up, lie down and stretch their limbs.

Massachusetts is truly making history with the grassroots-driven nature of this ballot measure, and the state should be proud of that leadership. But it’s not alone. Ten states have already passed laws to address inhumane farm animal confinement practices, and nearly 100 major food retailers—including McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and Starbucks—are working with suppliers to make similar reforms in their food supply chains.

“At the ASPCA, we hear every day from passionate advocates and concerned consumers who want to do something to help farm animals,” says Daisy Freund, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare. “This measure strikes at the heart of what it means to be an animal and a human. A mother pig suffers when she cannot so much as turn around, or stretch her limbs. A hen suffers when she cannot so much as stretch her wings. A newborn calf suffers when he is tethered by his neck and cannot turn around. And our very humanity suffers when we don’t speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

That is why the ASPCA is proud to stand behind this ballot measure, and why we are so sure that come November 2016, Massachusetts will make history and vote decisively for better lives for animals. Please visit the Citizens for Farm Animal Protection website if you’d like to get involved in the next phase of this campaign.