An amendment to the Florida Constitution passed Tuesday, prohibiting pregnant sows from being confined in gestation crates.

With 5,750 of 6,716 precincts reporting, Amendment 10 had 2,174,984 votes, or 54 percent, in favor and 1,862,370, or 46 percent, opposed.

Animal-rights activists hailed the victory. “The people of Florida have set a standard for the humane treatment of animals and we are delighted with the results,” says Wayne Pacelle, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle says Florida is the first state in the nation to take such a step.

Frankie Hall, assistant director of agricultural policy for the Florida Farm Burea Federation says the amendment would have no real effect in the state, which has no large hog farms and only two that use the crates prohibited by the amendment.

“The only thing it does is give the animal-rights movement something to brag about,” Hall says. Hall says the passage of the amendment was not surprising as supporters actively campaigned and the opponents did not.

While that may be true in Florida, the amendment could set a dangerous precedent for the pork industry, if other states with larger pork production industries, followed the example.

Associated Press