The American Veterinary Medical Association issued a statement Tuesday cautioning that the California ballot initiative on farm animal housing, Proposition 2, or Prop 2, has an "admirable goal" but also establishes requirements that could, in fact, harm the animals covered in the initiative. AVMA said these requirements "ignore critical aspects of animal welfare" and fall short in improving animal welfare because they do not "adequately consider other factors."
AVMA executive board chair Dr. David McCrystle noted that animal welfare "is a complex issue" in which animal welfare decisions need "to be based on science, tempered with compassion and take into account all aspects of welfare." Prop 2 would change housing standards without considering how this could affect other aspects of animal welfare, such as protecting animals from disease and injury, which "would not be in the animals' or society's best interests," he said.
Prop 2 would require that all farm animals, "for the majority of any day" not be confined or tethered in a manner that prevents an animal from lying down, standing up, turning around and/or fully extending its limbs without touching other animals or an enclosure such as a cage or stall. It is aimed at cage-egg production, sow and veal calf housing systems and would effectively end egg production in California, forcing California consumers to import eggs from other states and Mexico and pay more for them, according to two major studies.