On Nov. 7, voters in Arizona voted 61.5 percent to 38.5 percent in favor of Proposition 204, which prohibits the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs and veal crates for calves. The measure will go into effect Dec. 31, 2012. These are proven practices by both scientific examination at leading universities and hands-on experience from both producers and veterinarians. The Animal Agriculture Alliance is disappointed that Arizona’s voters were misled by a multi-million dollar campaign of misdirection.
The Alliance believes that the voters' choice shows a clear misunderstanding of agriculture and will prove to be a significant long-term deterrent to Arizona’s agriculture industry, especially its producers and ranchers. It is unfortunate that Arizona voters chose to jeopardize the future of animal agriculture in their state since. According to Arizona Farm Bureau, agriculture contributes more than $9 billion a year to Arizona’s gross state product and animal agriculture accounts for more than $4.5 billion of that amount.
The vegan-led Humane Society of the United States contributed more than $800,000 to back the ballot initiative.
''Not long ago, it was enough for America's producers and ranchers to provide high-quality food at affordable prices,'' says Kay Johnson, executive vice president of the Alliance. ''Americans understood producers’ and ranchers’ values. But Tuesday’s vote indicates that they need to continuously communicate their commitment on critical issues, including animal welfare and their dedication to providing the safest, highest quality food supply in history.''