29 days. That’s the amount of time Californians have left to gather enough signatures to place the world’s strongest farm animal protection measure on the November 2018 ballot.
Right now, The Humane Society of the United States and a coalition of our nation’s leading farm animal protection organizations, known as Prevent Cruelty California, are working tirelessly to collect 600,000 signatures by April 21 to qualify this critical measure for the ballot. California’s proposed initiative would go further than any farm animal protection measure in history by banning the sale of veal, eggs, and pork that comes from facilities that force animals to live in cruel and inhumane cages and crates. Prevent Cruelty California’s historic campaign and the hard work of its dedicated volunteers was recently featured by The Guardian, in the aptly named article “‘History in the making’: California aims for world’s highest farm animal welfare law.”
California has long lead the way in progressive animal welfare reforms, most notably with the passage of the Prop 2 in 2008, which required that all egg-laying hens, mother pigs, and veal calves raised in California be provided enough space to lie down, stand up, turn around freely, and fully extend their limbs. This modest measure meant a world of difference to the treatment of animals who spend virtually their entire lives confined in cages so small they can barely move an inch. Prop 2 was groundbreaking and paved the way for other states to adopt stronger animal protection laws. Currently a dozen states now have laws on the books cracking down on the extreme confinement of farms animals. In 2016, Massachusetts voters passed an initiative that’s very similar to California’s proposed measure.
California’s new ballot measure is necessary for several key reasons. Right now, most eggs sold in California come from hens confined in wire cages. Most pork sold in California comes from facilities that confine mother pigs in coffin-like cages known as gestation crates where they’re unable to turn around or take more than a step forwards or backwards nearly their entire lives. And California still allows the sale of veal from calves who spend their entire lives isolated in a crate barely larger than their bodies. This measure would upgrade California law by extending the modest protections of Prop 2 and requiring that all veal, eggs, and pork sold in the state come from cage-free sources, regardless of where they are produced. It would mean that if producers want to continue selling their products in California, they will have to meet California’s heightened animal welfare standards.
Early polling shows that a whopping 72% of California’s support this measure. With such broad support, the coalition of animal groups leading the Prevent Cruelty California campaign are confident that once the initiative makes it on the ballot it will pass overwhelmingly, as did Prop 2 nearly a decade ago.
That said, with only 29 days left, there is much work to be done. Animals need your help right now.
If you live in California, you can have the most impact by signing up here today and volunteering to collect urgently needed signatures. If you don’t live in California but would like to get involved, please contact Prevent Cruelty California here today.