Californians for Sound Farm Animal Agriculture released the following statement this week following verification that the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, which would ban the use of cages or stalls for gestation sows, veal calves and laying hens, had qualified for the state's November ballot:

“The Farm Animal measure that voters will face in November promises to have a tremendous impact on supply and egg prices in California, but experts say it would have little or negative impacts on the health of egg-laying hens.

Many scientists, veterinarians and animal-welfare experts believe the benefits of the current cage system far outweigh the benefits claimed by the initiative. And the proponents’ ultimate goal – elimination of cages altogether - would expose hens to disease, the elements, predators and aggression from other birds. Two portions of the initiative – veal crates and gestation crates for pigs – deal with practices that are either practically non-existent in California or are being voluntarily phased out this year.

California farmers are already raising their hens in a variety of ways – confinement care, cage-free and organic – to meet shifting consumer demand.  Many farmers employ different methods on the same farm. The issues raised by this poorly written and ill-defined measure do not belong on the ballot.  Animal-welfare policies belong in the hands of experienced scientists, veterinarians and farmers who are best qualified to protect farm animals and the food they provide.”

Source: Californians for Sound Farm Animal Agriculture