For Immediate Release
Statement on Passage of California's Proposition 2: 'Monumental Victory for Farm Animals'
Nation's Leading Farm Animal Protection Organization Celebrates Precedent-setting Phase-out of Factory Farming Confinement Systems in Largest Agricultural State
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. and ORLAND, Calif. - This evening, Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, celebrates a landmark victory for farm animals: the passage of Proposition 2 in California. The YES on Prop 2 campaign was run by Californians for Humane Farms, a coalition headed by Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States. This law phases out some of the most restrictive confinement systems used by factory farms -- gestation crates for breeding pigs, veal crates for calves and battery cages for egg laying hens -- affecting 20 million farm animals in the state by simply granting them space to stand up, stretch their limbs, turn around and lie down comfortably. This evening, Farm Sanctuary's President and Co-Founder Gene Baur released a statement on the Prop 2 victory:
"The passage of Prop 2 in the country's largest agricultural state marks a monumental victory for farm animals. This campaign did an amazing job of raising public awareness about the cruel treatment farm animals endure at the hands of an industry that has consistently fought meaningful change for animals. Farm Sanctuary supporters and campaign volunteers have seen California voters respond with reason and compassion agreeing that all animals deserve humane treatment. Today marks a significant change in the way we view and treat farm animals and falls closer in line with public sentiments and values of compassion. We look forward to seeing these confinement systems phased out nationwide."
The YES! on Prop 2 campaign has been the greatest undertaking on behalf of farm animals in U.S. history, raising enough public awareness and support to end three of the cruelest confinement systems with one ballot measure in spite of massive funding from the industry-backed opposition. Media outlets throughout the state and nationwide have covered Prop 2 and thousands of campaign volunteers have hit the streets consistently during the past several months to raise public awareness about farm animal protection issues.
Farm Sanctuary was the second largest nonprofit contributor to the YES on Prop 2 campaign. Many Farm Sanctuary members showed their support through individual donations to Californians for Humane Farms, as well as hundreds of hours of volunteer time working on the YES! on Prop 2 campaign.
Farm Sanctuary has been instrumental in setting the groundwork for many of the first victories on behalf of farm animals in California and nationwide, and was a lead sponsor of two previous successful ballot initiatives in Florida (ban on gestation crates) and Arizona (ban on gestation and veal crates):
1995 - Farm Sanctuary helps pass a law in California, which prevents dragging, pushing, holding, or selling downed animals at stockyards and slaughterhouses. Other states follow California, passing similar laws. The Chino slaughterhouse investigation that resulted in the largest beef recall in U.S. history led to prosecution under this original California downer law.
2001 - Farm Sanctuary files a lawsuit with the USDA urging an end to the marketing of downed cattle for human consumption.
2002 - Farm Sanctuary is a key sponsor of the first-ever ballot initiative to ban a cruel factory-farming practice in the U.S. This measure bans gestation crates in Florida.
2003 - At Farm Sanctuary's urging, USDA promulgates a rule to prevent the slaughter of downed cattle for human food. Farm Sanctuary attorneys later negotiate settlement of this lawsuit against the USDA in response to the Agency's no downer rule.
2004 - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs SB1520 into law, banning the force-feeding of ducks and geese to produce foie gras as well as the sale of the cruel product in California.
2006 - Arizona Voters overwhelming vote Yes on Proposition 204 to ban the use of gestation crates for breeding pigs and veal crates for calves in the state. Farm Sanctuary is a leading backer of this campaign.
2008 - Precedent-setting legal victory achieved when N.J. Supreme Court unanimously rules that factory farming practices cannot be considered "humane" simply because they are widely used.
In addition to legislative and legal advocacy work for farm animals, Farm Sanctuary also operates the largest rescue and refuge network for farm animals in North America. The organization runs a 300 acre sanctuary in Orland, Calif. and a 175 acre sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y. where more than 1,400 rescued farm animals receive round the clock rehabilitative care and lifelong refuge in optimal habitats. Some of the oldest farm animals in the United States reside at these sanctuaries where visitors can meet these animals, learn about their histories, as well as the adverse effects of factory farming, and witness their social bonds.
More information on Farm Sanctuary's current efforts can be found at farmsanctuary.org.
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Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at www.farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.