As of yesterday, it's official that California voters will face an animal welfare ballot initiative come November. The Humane Society of the United States drove the effort and collected significantly more signatures than required to get the proposal, known as the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, on the state's ballot.
If passed, crates, stalls and other tethering devices would be banned in the production of veal calves, gestation sows and laying hens (chicken, duck, turkey, goose). Further, it states that the animals must be allowed to lie down, stand up, and turn around.
There are some exceptions to the act, such as during scientific or agricultural research; during veterinary examination, testing, treatment or surgery; during transport; during rodeo or fair exhibitions; specific to swine, 7 days prior to a sow's expected farrowing date.
If passed, the act would take effect Jan. 1, 2015. Violations would be ruled a misdemeanor, and upon conviction the individual could be placed in jail for up to 180 days and/or receive up to a $1,000 fine.