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March 12, 2014

Poll Shows 90 Percent of Massachusetts Voters Support Legislation to Protect Farm Animals

A Massachusetts bill to prohibit certain extreme confinement farming practices has overwhelming support from voters, a new statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research reveals. H.1456 would prohibit the most extreme forms of confinement for breeding pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens in small crates and cages.

The poll found that at least 90 percent of Massachusetts voters favor outlawing extreme confinement of certain farm animals, while only 5 percent oppose it. Large majorities in all demographic groups, regions of the state, and party affiliations expressed strong support.

In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined for years in immobilizing gestation crates. Many veal calves are similarly immobilized for their entire lives. And more than 90 percent of egg-laying hens are confined to barren battery cages, which are so restrictive the birds can’t extend their wings.

Eighty-two percent of those surveyed reported they were more likely to support a lawmaker who votes for legislation to prohibit extreme confinement, while only 3 percent would be less likely to do so.

The poll of 625 statewide Massachusetts voters was conducted by telephone from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27, 2014. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.

 

Survey Results

QUESTION: Pigs used for breeding and calves used for veal on large farms are often confined to two-foot-wide metal cages knows as “gestation crates” and “veal crates,” respectively. In these crates, the animals do not have enough room to turn around for nearly their entire lives.

 

Would you support or oppose a bill that would require pigs and calves have sufficient space to be able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs?

 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS

SUPPORT

92%

90%

94%

94%

89%

91%

OPPOSE

5%

6%

4%

4%

8%

6%

UNDECIDED

3%

4%

2%

2%

3%

3%

 

 

BOSTON METRO

EASTERN MA

WESTERN MA

SUPPORT

95%

91%

88%

OPPOSE

3%

6%

7%

UNDECIDED

2%

3%

5%

 

 

 

QUESTION: If the legislature passed a bill allowing pigs and calves to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs, would you support or oppose Governor Patrick signing the bill into law?

 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS

SUPPORT

91%

     88%

93%

94%

88%

90%

OPPOSE

4%

6%

3%

3%

7%

5%

UNDECIDED

5%

6%

4%

3%

5%

5%

 

 

BOSTON METRO

EASTERN MA

WESTERN MA

SUPPORT

94%

89%

88%

OPPOSE

4%

4%

5%

UNDECIDED

2%

7%

7%


 

 

QUESTION: Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a state legislator who voted for a bill that allows pigs and calves to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs?

 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS

MORE

82%

     79%

84%

86%

75%

82%

LESS

3%

5%

2%

2%

5%

3%

NO EFFECT

15%

16%

14%

12%

20%

15%

 

 

BOSTON METRO

EASTERN MA

WESTERN MA

MORE

83%

85%

77%

LESS

3%

3%

3%

NO EFFECT

14%

12%

20%

 

 

QUESTION: Hens used for egg production are often confined in metal cages that are too small for the birds to extend their wings. Would you support or oppose a bill that would require hens have sufficient space to be able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their wings?

 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS

SUPPORT

90%

     88%

91%

93%

89%

88%

OPPOSE

5%

5%

5%

4%

7%

5%

UNDECIDED

5%

7%

4%

3%

4%

7%

 

 

BOSTON METRO

EASTERN MA

WESTERN MA

SUPPORT

96%

90%

89%

OPPOSE

3%

7%

5%

UNDECIDED

1%

3%

6%

 

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