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Proven Farming Practices Banned

by 5m Editor
13 November 2006, at 10:51am

US - On November 7, voters in Arizona voted 61.5% to 38.5% in favor of Proposition 204, which prohibited the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs and veal crates for calves.

The measure will go into effect December 31, 2012. These practices have been proven for years by both scientific examination at leading universities and pragmatic experience from both farmers and veterinarians. The Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance) is disappointed that Arizona’s voters were misled by a multi-million dollar campaign of misdirection.

The Alliance believes that the voters' choice shows a clear misunderstanding of agriculture and will prove to be a significant long-term deterrent to Arizona’s agriculture industry, especially its farmers and ranchers. It is unfortunate that Arizona voters chose to jeopardize the future of animal agriculture in their state since, according to Arizona Farm Bureau, agriculture contributes over $9 billion a year to Arizona’s Gross State Product (GSP) and animal agriculture accounts for over $4.5 billion of that amount.

The vegan-led Humane Society of the United States contributed over $800,000 to back the ballot initiative. Just last month, HSUS' Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare articulated the organization’s objective for another segment of animal agriculture--the egg laying and broiler chicken industry--to be, ''to get rid of the industry.''

''Not long ago, it was enough for America's farmers and ranchers to provide high-quality food at affordable prices,'' said Kay Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Alliance. ''Americans understood farmers’ and ranchers’ values.''

''But Tuesday’s vote indicates that America’s farmers and ranchers need to continuously communicate their commitment on critical issues, including animal welfare and their dedication to providing the safest, highest quality food supply in history,'' explained Johnson. ''The vote also shows that America’s farmers and ranchers need to remind consumers that 98% of America’s farms are family farms. The understanding generated by expanding communications initiatives will impede the success of anti-agriculture initiatives like Prop. 204 in other states.''

''The Alliance is also upset, though certainly not surprised, that death threats were sent to individuals at the Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers (CAFR),'' said Johnson. ''The threat of violence to coerce an action, by definition, is terrorism. These threats are rightly being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).''

The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual producers, producer organizations, suppliers, packer-processors, private industry and retailers. The Alliance's mission is to communicate the important role of animal agriculture to our nation's economy, productivity, vitality, security and that animal well-being is central to producing safe, high-quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives.

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor