I first heard of Prop 2 from the local AM radio station this morning. (When I say “local”, I mean the one (only one?) in the county we live in.) It was during an ag-update, of which there are many on this station. It said that livestock producers were concerned about the passage of the proposition. Producers in the midwest see it as an opportunity — California’s production will obviously decrease because of proposition 2. Oh, sad, sad, day.
I took it upon myself to research this perilous new law. I was curious about what types of terrible regulations had been passed by those crazies on the west coast.
Mere seconds after typing “prop 2” into a search box, I found the Yes on Prop 2 page. Obligingly, they have the text of the proposed (now passed) law in a PDF. The summary reads thusly:
“The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the cruel 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.”
Hm. That doesn’t sound that catastrophic, or even unreasonable. Well, maybe there’s some scary stuff hiding behind such a simple summary…
“25990. Prohibitions.– … a person shall not tether or confine any covered animal, on a farm, for all or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from:
(a) Lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs; and
(b) Turning around freely.”
Well, that sounds awfully similar to the summary. And that’s it, other than some definitions and exceptions.
In contrast to the tone of the local radio station’s report, our farm would not be hampered by a law like this. The chickens we have now, even when they’re cooped up for the night, have enough freedom of motion that we wouldn’t need to change if Indiana passed the same law. As we grow, our intent is to give our animals as much freedom as we can (while still keeping them healthy and safe from predators) and to raise what our land can support; in short, we plan to grow sustainably.
I think it is terrible that this type of law is required. But, I think it is hopeful that things seem to be changing in a more positive direction.