California’s Prop 2 Takes Effect Ushering in more Humane Treatment for Farmed Animals

Chickens In Battery Cages

Chickens In Battery Cages

As a popular new California law to protect farmed animals comes into effect on January 1, 2015, Mercy For Animals commends California voters for helping end some of the cruelest forms of institutionalized animal abuse in existence. In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 2 by a nearly 64 percent majority, granting farmed animals at least enough space to stand up, turn around, stretch their limbs, and engage in other basic natural behaviors.

At the time, Prop 2 was the most popular ballot measure in California history. According to a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey of California voters conducted in December 2014, support for Prop 2 has grown even stronger in recent years. More than eight out of nine Californians believe chickens should be raised cage-free, and more than seven out of eight believe six years was “a reasonable amount of time” for egg producers to come into compliance with Prop 2.

Just weeks before California voters cast their ballots on Prop 2, Mercy For Animals released startling video footage from inside Norco Ranch and Gemperle Enterprises, two of the state’s largest egg producers. The videos showed birds packed in cages so tightly they could hardly move, live birds neglected on dead piles, and hens injured and trapped by cage wire.

In the buildup to California’s new farmed animal protection law, major food distributors like Aramark, Sodexo, and Compass Group moved to 100 percent cage-free shell eggs in their California operations. Currently, companies like Nestlé, Burger King, Unilever, and Starbucks are switching to cage-free eggs for all of their locations and products nationwide, not just in California.

To help alleviate the suffering of approximately 300 million egg-laying hens nationwide, Mercy For Animals is now calling on United Egg Producers—the industry trade group representing nearly 90 percent of U.S. egg producers—to require its members to comply with UEP cage-free guidelines in order to be eligible for certification.

“With the enactment of Prop 2, California is leading the way towards a society in which farmed animals are treated with the respect they so rightly deserve,” says Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy For Animals. “As a civilized nation, it is our moral obligation to protect all animals, including animals raised and killed for food, from needless suffering. It’s time for egg producers nationwide to end the cruel and inhumane confinement of hens in wire cages so small they cannot walk, spread their wings, or engage in most natural behaviors.”

To view the undercover video that helped sway voters in favor of Prop 2, visit HenPetition.com.

More information: MercyForAnimals.org

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