Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Steps Towards Ending Factory Farming?

Well, maybe, although I think there is still a long way to go. Last week there was a slew of articles about the agreement in Ohio between the farm industry and animal welfare activists to expand cage sizes for calves (veal), hens and pigs. This concession was to avoid a November ballot vote a la California's Proposition 2. This New York Times article argues that it could lead to other states following suit.
A recent agreement between farmers and animal rights activists here is a rare compromise in the bitter and growing debate over large-scale, intensive methods of producing eggs and meat, and may well push farmers in other states to give ground, experts say. The rising consumer preference for more “natural” and local products and concerns about pollution and antibiotic use in giant livestock operations are also driving change.

The surprise truce in Ohio follows stronger limits imposed by California voters in 2008; there, extreme caging methods will be banned altogether by 2015. In another sign of the growing clout of the animal welfare movement, a law passed in California this year will also ban imports from other states of eggs produced in crowded cages. Similar limits were approved last year in Michigan and less sweeping restrictions have been adopted in Florida, Arizona and other states.

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