Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Animal groups in California address confinement issues

While Florida's 2002 gestation crate ban led the nation in addressing confinement ofpigs, California animal groups are currently in the news for their attempts to address confinement issues. Today, the AP reported here on the collection of signatures for a ballot initiative that would change current practices that keep most egg-laying hens, veal calves and pregnant pigs in small cages or boxes for most of their lives. The initiative would require that enclosures be big enough for the animals to fully extend their wings or legs, lie down, stand up and turn around.

Last year, after voters approved the Humane Treatment for Farm Animals Act, Arizona became the first state to outlaw veal crates, and the second, along with Florida, to end the confinement of pigs in gestation crates. Oregon's legislature also enacted a law this year banning gestation crates.

Additionally, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint against a California ranch asserting that the isolation and confinement of newborn calves in crates violates state anti-cruelty laws, which require that animals be provided with adequate exercise area. A copy of the complaint is available at this link. More info about the case is available at the ALDF website here.

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