Today, The HSUS and a remarkable group of organizational partners launched a ballot initiative campaign in Massachusetts that, if successful, will bring our society dramatically closer to ending the era of extreme animal confinement on the nation's factory farms. Just moments ago, I announced the initiative petition at the state house in Boston, accompanied by the CEOs of the Massachusetts SPCA, ASPCA, Animal Rescue League of Boston, and the Franklin Park Zoo. Other endorsers include the United Farm Workers, Mercy For Animals, the Center for Food Safety, Bon Appétit Management Company, and a long list of others.
The measure, which will appear on the November 2016 ballot once we gather enough signatures from qualified Massachusetts voters, will require that veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens have enough room to turn around, stand up, lie down, and freely extend their limbs. In short, it gets the animals out of cages barely larger than their bodies - specifically out of veal crates, gestation crates, and battery cages. The measure also says that whole shell eggs and whole uncooked cuts of veal and pork sold in Massachusetts must come from animals kept in conditions that comply with its anti-confinement standards. That means that anyone wanting to sell such products in the Commonwealth, regardless of where they're based, must comply by the effective date of 2022. By dealing with production and sales, this measure will protect Massachusetts consumers from unsafe and inhumane products.