Prop. 12 is a measure that would ban the extreme confinement of baby veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens inside tiny cages for their whole lives on industrial “factory farms.” It also ensures that products sold in California come from cage-free environments.
This measure has tremendous support right here in San Diego, including ours at San Diego Humane Society. Prop. 12 is also endorsed by dozens of San Diego animal welfare and veterinary professionals. These experts know it’s wrong to cause farm animals to suffer in tiny, filthy cages for their entire lives. And like most people in our city, they believe all animals—including farm animals—deserve protection from cruelty.
It’s still legal in our state to sell veal from a baby calf taken from his mother shortly after birth and forced into a narrow crate until he’s slaughtered. It’s still acceptable to sell pork from operations that confine each mother pig in a cage so small she’s unable even to turn around her entire life—often up to four years. And it’s permissible to sell eggs from a hen confined in a cage so small she’s forced to eat, sleep, sit in her own waste and lay eggs in the same small space every single day.
The extreme confinement of farm animals also spreads disease, which translates into food being less safe for our families. According to the FDA, 79,000 Americans are sickened every year by eggs contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria that has all too often proven deadly to children and the elderly. More than a dozen scientific studies have found that Salmonella is more prevalent in caged egg facilities than in cage-free farms.
Prop. 12 is strongly supported by California’s family farming community who know that its standards tackle the worst practices of industrial agribusiness, which for years has forced responsible family farmers out of business. In fact, more than 100 California family farmers, including farmers in San Diego County, endorse Prop. 12.
It’s been 10 years now since the last measure, Prop. 2, was passed improving the living conditions for farm animals, and with many companies and other states creating animal welfare requirements stronger than California’s, it’s time to update ours. That’s what Prop. 12 would do.
We can do better for animals. That’s why San Diego Humane Society has advocated for Prop. 12 in our city. San Diego has long been a leader in animal welfare, from our world class animal shelters, to our highly committed veterinarians, to our beaches dedicated to dogs, and our support for anti-cruelty measures at the ballot box. You have always been the biggest advocates for animals and we look forward to continuing to speak – and take action – on their behalf. Please share this important information and vote YES on Prop. 12 this Nov. 6 to protect animals, food safety and family farmers.
Gary Weitzman, DVM, MPH, CAWA
President and CEO