Update: As of 12:30 p.m. Pacific time, voters passed the measure by a 61 percent to 39 percent vote.
California voters resoundingly said “YES!” to Proposition 12, which ushers in the strongest farm animal protection law in the world. The passage of the transformational proposition builds on protections first passed by voters in 2008 to now ensure that pork, eggs and veal products produced or sold in the California marketplace come from facilities that do not confine animals in tiny cages for their entire lives.
“California voters have sent a loud and clear message that they reject cruel cage confinement in the meat and egg industries.” said Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “Thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers and coalition partners who made this victory happen, millions of veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens will never know the misery of being locked in a tiny cage for the duration of their lives.”
Proposition 12 was led by a broad coalition of leading animal protection, environmental, food safety and sustainable farming organizations. It was supported by more than 600 California veterinarians and veterinary clinics, over 100 California family farmers and thousands of volunteers.
“The passage of Proposition 12 is ground-breaking for the welfare of animals and has raised the bar at an important time in our consideration of what farm to table means in this country,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “Californians have resoundingly voted to acknowledge that further expanding the humane treatment of animals matters in our society and we applaud them.”
In addition to the successful campaign to pass Proposition 12, a dozen states now have laws cracking down on extreme confinement, and the biggest food retailers in the nation, including Walmart, Safeway, Costco, Burger King and hundreds of others, are requiring their meat and egg suppliers to eliminate cages.
Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, will share additional insights about this victory for farm animals and on a measure to protect greyhounds in Florida on her blog which will be posted here.