By Chuck Doud
The Madera Tribune
Proposition 2, which purports to have the welfare of animals at heart, actually would do a lot to make many farm animals far less comfortable than they are now, with no benefit for the consumer.
“If it passes,” according to Ballotpedia.org, Proposition 2 “will create a new state statute that prohibits the confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.”
Backers of Prop. 2 believe that chickens, calves and pigs raised on confinement would be happy if these critters had a little more room to move around. But there is no proof of that.
In fact, studies show that hens confined to cages stay in better health than so-called “free-range” hens (which don’t really range all that freely, because if they did, they would be eaten by coyotes and other predators).
The cages for laying hens keep the chickens off the ground and out of the dirt, leading to cleaner hens and cleaner eggs.
If cage-rearing were harmful to the chickens, most egg farmers would be broke by now because farmers with none-caged, and presumably healthier chickens would be raising more eggs and keeping their hens longer. They don’t.
It is possible to raise chickens without using cages, but they still must be confined, kept clean and looked after. That is costly, and makes the eggs more expensive to produce.
Prop. 2 would kill most of the California egg business (and therefore kill most of the California laying hens — thanks, voters), would make eggs more expensive for Californians and would cost the state in lost taxes.
We would continue to eat eggs, of course — which were laid by caged hens out of state, even out of country.
Vote no on Prop. 2.