California’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (Proposition 2)

California’s Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act (Proposition 2) ;

On November 4, Californians going to the polls will have a chance to vote “yes” or “no” on “Prop 2” – a ballot initiative for a new state statute (Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 13.8, Sections 25990-25994) — the full language of which is here:

The Act’s stated purpose is “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.” It would take effect on January 1, 2015.

The Act, if passed, will have the greatest impact on the raising conditions of calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens, and pregnant pigs (except for the week preceding their expected due date).

Anyone found guilty of violating this statute would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of less than $1,000 or imprisonment for fewer than 180 days, or both.

Similar ballot initiatives have taken place in Florida and Arizona, but neither have extended to as many species of farmed animals and California’s. In 2002, Florida voters banned pig gestation crates by voting (55%) in support of “Amendment 10”, which amended the state’s constitution and became “the first measure ever to be adopted in the United States to ban the confinement of animals on factory farms.” Quote from:

Similarly, in 2006, Arizonans voted in favor (62%) of Proposition 204, banning the use of veal crates for calves as well as gestation crates for pregnant pigs. The measure, which amends a state statute (Title 13, Chapter 29), goes into effect in 2012. Arizona remains the only state with a ban on veal crates, and if California’s proposition passes, California will become the second state in the nation to ban veal crates and the third to ban gestation crates. Additionally, it will be the only state to ban, effectively, battery cages.

Information about Gestation Crates “Female pigs selected for breeding in most large pig nurseries are artificially impregnated early in their lives and soon after placed in the crates for their four-month pregnancies. According to Grandin, productive sows will spend several years in the cages while giving birth to five to eight litters. But as the sows get larger over the years, some cannot fit in the cages and are either slaughtered or forced to live in conditions where they can sleep only on their chests, rather than their sides as they do normally. Pork producers and many veterinarians argue that the animals do well separated in the crates and are prone to fighting if housed together in pens. But animal advocates say the pigs suffer greatly in the 2-by-7-foot cages, with many chewing on metal bars and endlessly waving their heads. Grandin said many sows in narrow crates show behaviors she considers abnormal — a sign, she said, that they are suffering. The crates have been banned in Europe for some time.” Quote from:

Information about Battery Cages: “Most eggs produced in the United States come from industrialized factory farms confining hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of laying hens in overcrowded battery cages. Arguably the most abused animals in all agribusiness, nearly 280 million laying hens in the United States are confined in barren, wire battery cages so restrictive the birds can’t even spread their wings. With no opportunity to engage in many of their natural behaviors, including nesting, dust bathing, perching, and foraging, these birds endure lives wrought with suffering. Because of animal welfare concerns, countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Austria have banned battery cages. The entire European Union is phasing out conventional cages by 2012.” Quote from

Information about Veal Crates: “Intensive confinement of calves raised for veal has long raised pointed concerns regarding the animals’ welfare. Traditional production practices include individually isolating calves in narrow wooden stalls or pens, which severely restrict movement, feeding the animals an all-liquid diet deliberately low in iron, and prematurely weaning the animals. Stressful conditions lead to a high incidence of stereotypic behavior and illness. Scientific reviews of the welfare of intensively confined calves raised for veal have concluded that the young animals suffer when reared in conventional systems.” Quote from

Suzanne McMillan

2 Responses

  1. This is great info to know.

  2. […] put rules about the size of pigpens and a ban on gill-netting in the constitution," said O'Malley. "The legislature can’t delegate […]

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