Citizens for Farm Animal Protection is a broad coalition of non-profit organisations, farmers and businesses, community leaders and grassroots activists dedicated to enacting a ballot measure to ban the cruel confinement of farm animals in Massachusetts, USA.


Cows and calves - Brasilia, Brazil, 2009

Cows and calves - Brasilia, Brazil, 2009

On 19 August, this coalition announced a new public ballot initiative to curb extreme confinement and lifelong immobilisation of animals at industrial-style factory farms.


If endorsed by voters, this ballot measure would ensure that egg-laying hens, female breeding pigs and veal calves are no longer kept in cages so small they can’t turn around or extend their limbs. It will also ensure that products from these animals (whole eggs and whole uncooked cuts of pork or veal) sold in Massachusetts are compliant with these modest standards. The law would take effect in 2022.


Since 2002, similar initiatives have led to the phase-out of some or all of those systems – inherently incompatible with animal welfare – in Florida, Arizona and California. Other states, such as Oregon, Colorado, Maine and Kentucky, have adopted similar decisions through a legislative procedure.


Now the Attorney General will have to examine the question, and if he certifies it, the coalition will have to collect at least 90,000 signatures in order to qualify for the 2016 statewide ballot. A way to avoid this procedure would be to fast-track its approval by the Legislature, which would have to take it up as a bill.


This type of initiative was put on hold following the agreement reached in July 2011 by the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to endorse federal legislation aimed at improving the treatment of all the 280 million laying hens used in the US each year, by banning conventional battery cages for egg production throughout the United States. Sadly, this proposal has never gone through Congress, due to the strong opposition exerted by the lobbies that profit from factory farming. Therefore, the time has come to involve voters once more in order to produce concrete progress.


You can follow the developments of this initiative through the Citizens for Farm Animal Protection website.


The text of the proposed act is available on the website of the state of Massachusetts.


On the HSUS website you can find further information about the preparation and launch of this initiative.



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