By Michael Dominguez
California voters should vote yes on Proposition 12, which will require specific farm animals to be cage free.
These animals include egg-laying hens, pregnant pigs, and calves used for veal.
These animals spend most of their lives in the same small cage every day.
While in these cages, they eat, sleep, and defecate. Hens also lay their eggs in the same cage.
No animal should be in the same cage every day for its entire life, at least not until their cage is cleaned before being put back in.
This is just cruel to animals. No animal should go through this type of pain and fear.
In 2008, Proposition 2 was passed to end animal cruelty for caged animals.
Prop. 2 allowed farmed caged animals to have enough space to stretch their limbs and move around.
However, it did not state or specify how much space the animals are required to have in their cages.
According to the Humane Society, “Much of the pork sold statewide still comes from factory farms that confine sows in cruel gestation crates where the animals are unable to even turn around.”
Some of these pigs are pregnant and are being forced to fit in crates that they can barely walk or even sit in.
Eggs contaminated with salmonella sicken 79,000 Americans every year, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Scientific studies have found that salmonella is more common in caged facilities than in cage-free farms.
By changing to cage-free facilities, the amount of people in California getting sick from salmonella will be reduced.
Prop. 12 can be seen as an upgrade from 2008’s Prop. 2.
If Prop. 12 is passed, it will require farm owners to make adjustments to their farm system.
According to Prop. 12, calves will be required to have 43 square feet of floor to roam in by 2020, while each pig will be given 24 square feet of floor space by 2022.
Egg-laying hens will be given one square foot of floor space each and have to be cage free by 2022.
All eggs that don’t come from cage free farms will not be sold in stores.
McDonalds has already been buying products that come from farms that are cage-free.
Other retailers, like Costco and Wal-Mart, have also made changes that require their products to come from cage-free farm systems.
Prop. 12 will also ban sales from other states that do not follow California’s standards.
The Association of California Egg Farmers opposes the proposition saying that the timeline could lead to prices increasing and loss of egg sales.
Prop. 12 is supported by the United Farm Workers and National Women’s Farming Association.
They agree that animals should not suffer and we should help prevent California voters from getting sick.
Voters should vote yes on Prop.12 on Nov. 6 to protect animals and food safety.