Massachusetts Voters Ban Gestation Crates, Battery Cages

06:10PM Nov 09, 2016
( Farm Journal )

Animal rights activists gained a foothold in Massachusetts during Tuesday’s election. Voters approved a measure banning the sale of products from animals raised using specific types of animal confinement systems. The new law will result in major transitions for farmers in the state.

Specific language of the Massachusetts measure says the new law will “prohibit Massachusetts farmers from raising egg-laying hens, breeding pigs and calves raised for veal in spaces that prevent the animals from lying down, standing up, fulling extending its limbs, or turning around freely.” A similar bill banning battery cages, gestation crates and veal calf pens passed in California in 2008.

Farmers will have some time to transition their facilities as the bill won’t be fulling implemented until 2022. Once the law takes effect, the state attorney general will be tasked with issuing regulations for enforcement including a $1,000 fine for each violation.

The bill was supported by both the Humane Society of the United States and Citizens for Farm Animal Protection who told voters the measure will lead to better animal care. Farmers and farm groups sought to explain the law would result in higher food prices but voters overwhelmingly supported the measure with more than 77% of voters supporting it.