The Humane Society of the United States has collected nearly 800,000 signatures to place a ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide whether to ban gestation-sow stalls, veal crates and cages in chicken layer operations. A total of 433,971 signatures were needed to get he measure placed on California's November ballot.
The ballot initiative is called the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. If passed, it would take effect in 2015, and would prohibit producers from confining egg-laying hens, gestating sows and veal calves in cages that severely restrict the animals' normal movements. A counter group, called Californians for Sound Farm Animal Agriculture, was formed last fall the animal activists efforts toward the ballot initiative. CSFAA has expressed its alarm and concern at the prospect of voters dictating farming practices.