Thursday, November 6, 2008

Victory for Prop. 2!

Another victory for animals to come out of Tuesday's election was the passing of California's Proposition 2. Prop 2 banned the use of battery cages (small cages in which chickens are kept for egg laying purposes. Animal advocates have long argued that confinement in such small cages is cruel and unusual punishment.) in California, and will hopefully set a precedent to begin eradicating this practice throughout our country.
The proposition also contained legislation which bans other types of cruel confinement on factory farms such as gestation crates for pigs, and veal crates for calves. This is a huge step in the right direction that has taken a long time to come to pass. Don't let us lose momentum now! Please contact your state legislators and encourage them to introduce similar measures in your own home state!
On a related note, Farm Sanctuary Campaign Associate Casey Martinson has reminded me that tail docking is only one of many atrocities facing dairy cows.
Casey says: "In light of the many pressing concerns currently on Farm Sanctuary’s legislative agenda—downed animal protection, the use of cruel factory farm confinement systems, foie gras production and so on—I’m not sure that efforts to ban tail docking will be given high priority during the next session of Congress. However, we would certainly give our full support to any tail docking measures that are introduced, and if we see any opportunities for our members to lobby in support of such measures, we will issue alerts accordingly."
I can certainly understand how tail docking can be considered a minor concern, when one considers all the other issues facing dairy cows. I can certainly understand that it would be difficult to engage people's interest and raise funds for a fight against tail docking in the face of so much other suffering. However, just because the issue is small, I see no reason to pass it by completely, and hope it will simply 'go away'. I encourage everyone once again to write to their representatives and inquire as to whether any legislation concerning the welfare of cows in the dairy industry is pending, and urge them to condemn cruel practices. I don't expect anyone to go writing a bill specifically to ban tail docking, but I definitely think efforts should be made to insert a ban on tail docking into any current legislation upholding the health and well being of dairy cattle.

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