Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Harmful Propostion Regarding Chickens...Read Carefully!
Although the election is months away, it’s important for Californians to start thinking about the issues they’ll be voting on this November. One measure in particular, Proposition 2, deserves your NO vote.
A well-funded Washington, D.C.-based special interest group has undertaken a nationwide effort to ban current safe and humane farming practices, particularly regarding housing requirements for egg-laying hens. After failing to enact these bans in six other states, this group has ignored national and statewide experts, circumvented the California State Legislature and now qualified Prop 2 for the November 4, 2008 statewide ballot.
Prop 2 would place new, extreme mandates on how egg-laying hens are housed, banning almost all modern egg production in California, which would have dangerous and expensive impacts for our state. In addition, the measure is unnecessary given that existing state laws and standards already protect animal welfare and food safety here in California.
Today’s modern housing systems, which constitute about 95 percent of U.S. egg production, were developed by leading animal scientists to ensure the fundamental components of sound animal care, providing optimal feed, light, air, water, space and sanitation for egg-laying hens.
Not only is this initiative unnecessary, it is dangerous. Banning current housing practices threatens our food safety and increases the risk of salmonella. These systems were designed to protect our eggs from salmonella and protect hens from direct contact with migratory birds, which carry Avian Influenza, Exotic Newcastle Disease and other diseases. By banning these housing systems, we’ll expose farm animals to deadly diseases and jeopardize the state’s public health.
On top of the public health risks, this measure would leave California consumers with virtually no option to buy locally produced, fresh eggs. Banning almost all modern egg production in the state would make it economically infeasible for California farmers to compete against out-of-state production. Californians would have to rely on imported eggs, trucked from thousands of miles away from other states and Mexico, where egg farmers are not subject to the same safety guidelines as California egg farmers.
Californians for SAFE Food is a broad coalition of veterinarians, public health and food safety experts, family farmers, consumers and statewide businesses and organizations including Agricultural Council of California, Armstrong Egg Farms, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Women for Agriculture and the National Animal Interest Alliance. A NO vote on Prop 2 is needed in order to protect our state’s food safety, public health and local, California-grown products.
To learn more about how you can oppose Prop 2, please visit www.safecaliforniafood.org and remember to vote NO on November 4, 2008.
Photo by: gfidias