This is an interesting article on CNN Money about the costs of improving conditions for farm animals.
Much of the time it comes down to the money. Are consumers willing to pay more for more humane treatment? From the article:
The rhetoric by both sides clouds the issue. Animal activists demand that laws be passed to change the conditions under which livestock and poultry are raised. The livestock sector argues that the changes the activists want will increase production costs and that some of the alternative programs they want are inhumane as well.
The Humane Society of the United States is initiating a petition drive to put an initiative on the California ballot that would ban gestation crates for sows, battery cages for laying hens and veal crates for veal calves. A San Francisco Bay area group called East Bay Animal Advocates is an on-the-ground group working to aid in the effort.