March 27, 2009
Maine Bill Takes Aim at Factory Farming Abuse
At a hearing today, The Humane Society of the United States is urging the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee to pass a new bill to prevent two of the most cruel and inhumane factory farming abuses.
The bill, L.D. 1021, prevents gestation crates for breeding pigs and veal crates for calves. These individual cages are so small, the animals barely have enough room to move. The bill simply gives them enough room to stand up, turn around or extend their limbs.
Sen. John Nutting presented the bill, and Sen. Davis and Reps. Cray and Pieh are cosponsors. L.D. 1021 protects Maine's family farming heritage as well as animal welfare.
"The Humane Society of the United States commends Senator Nutting for introducing this bill to prevent cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs and calves," states Katie Lisnik, The HSUS' Maine state director. "It's simply wrong to confine animals in tiny cages barely larger than their bodies."
In a landslide November vote, Californians approved the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, making it a criminal offense (with a phase-out) to confine pigs in gestation crates, calves in veal crates and egg-laying hens in battery cages. California is the country's top agricultural state.
- The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act was approved by a landslide 63.5 percent of California voters. More than 8.2 million Californians voted to enact Prop 2, making it the state's most popular citizen initiative ever — in the country's top agricultural state, no less. Other states have passed similar reforms, including Colorado, Florida, Arizona and Oregon.
- Across the country, restaurants, producers, and retailers — including Safeway, Burger King, Carl's Jr. and Hardees, Wolfgang Puck and Smithfield Foods — are moving away from supporting crates on factory farms.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the web at humanesociety.org.