Proposition 12 Debate Continues Among California Animal Rights Activists

On November 6, voters in California will head to the polls and vote in the midterm elections. Many propositions are on the ballot, but one proposition in particular has activists split. Proposition 12 would require that farm animals have more space to roam and live in California.

Proposition 12 is mainly about the amount of space each animal requires. Some animal-rights activists say there is not nearly enough room for California poultry and livestock to live.

In 2020, Prop 12 would ban eggs sales from confined hens that have less than 1 square foot of room. And by 2022, the birds would have to be kept in "cage-free" areas.

“Caging animals in small spaces where they can barely move is cruel and inhumane,” Josh Balk, a vice president with the Humane Society said. “Voters will never accept the idea of keeping animals in cages.”

As of today, Proposition 12 has raised more than $16 million for their campaign. $4 Million of that came from the Open Philanthropy Action Fund.

However, the Association of California Egg Farmers, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the Humane Farming Association are all opposed to passing Proposition 12.

“We’re hoping Californians will see this for the weak measure that it is,” Ben Williamson, a spokesman for PETA said. “It keeps hens in cages until 2022 and then leaves them in crammed warehouses with one square foot of space thereafter. We think we can do more and we should do more.”

The opposition has raised almost $600,000.

“While passing the most far reaching law for farm animals of all time still might not be good for enough some, and they prefer a status quo where animals are still confined in cages, I just don’t think that represents mainstream, everyday California voters who believe in taking a very big positive step in the right direction to treat animals better,” Josh Balk said.

California's Independent Legislative Analyst's Office claimed that the measure "would likely result in an increase in prices for eggs, pork and veal," for residents.

More details on Proposition 12 can be found on The Los Angeles Times.

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