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Factory-Farm Phase-Out?

The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Protection's landmark report could herald welfare reform for farmed animals.

When The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Protection report was released this past spring, it caused shock-waves around the country. The landmark study, based on two-and-a-half years of independent research, proposes drastic changes in the way animals are raised for food. The recommendations include phasing out battery cages for egg-laying hens, gestation and farrowing crates for pregnant pigs, and other intensive animal confinement systems within 10 years; banning the force-feeding of ducks and geese to make foie gras; and prohibiting the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.

In addition to taking a strong stance on animal welfare, the Pew Commission also addresses the devastating impact that factory farming has on human health, the environment, and rural economies and culture. The report recommends the formation of a substantive disease-monitoring program to facilitate recalls, stricter pollution regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations, and fundamental market reforms that would enable independent farms to compete with agribusiness conglomerates.

California residents wanting to support the Pew Commission's recommendations should vote yes on Prop. 2, otherwise known as Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. If enacted, Prop. 2 would phase out battery cages for egg-laying hens and gestation crates for pregnant pigs throughout the Golden State.

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