A group made up mostly of large-animal veterinarians has split from the California Veterinary Medical Association due to the group’s support of Proposition 2, a controversial measure that would ban confinement housing for gestation sows, veal calves and poultry. Citing a lack of scientific credibility to the initiative, the Association of California Veterinarians was formed to promote science-based standards in the state’s animal-agriculture industry.

In a statement on the Web site “Californians for safe food,” the newly formed ACV group “promotes and supports science-based standards, practices, and policies which enable California’s livestock and poultry producers to continue as leaders producing a wholesome, safe, nutritious, and affordable food supply. Their goal is to be the principal veterinary organization in California regarding issues affecting California’s animal-agriculture industry.”

Mike Karle, DVM, president of the Association of California Veterinarians, says, “The decision (to support Prop. 2) was not based on science or on the recommendations from the people within CVMA who specialize in food-animal and poultry medicine. The experts who specialize in the veterinary care of egg-laying hens — avian scientists, poultry veterinarians and other food-animal veterinarians — overwhelmingly oppose Proposition 2, as it is harmful for hen and human health alike. In addition, the state’s top food safety and public health experts oppose Proposition 2.”

Proposition 2 would require that egg-laying hens, veal calves and gestating sows have room enough to lie down, stand, turn around and fully extend their limbs, effective 2015. For more, click here.