Last year, Californians voted overwhelmingly for Proposition 2, which banned the harsh confinement of laying hens, pregnant sows and veal calves. A national Zogby poll from October 2003 entitled Nationwide Views on the Treatment of Farm Animals [pdf], found that 82% of respondents agreed that such laws protecting farm animals should be in effect nationwide. Now, as the interest in where our food comes from grows, it seems that the country at large is ready to extend animal welfare laws to farm animals.

In fact, the tide has been turning on farm animal treatment for years now. Before California’s well-publicized vote for the improved treatment of farm animals last November (which will take effect in 2015), Florida voters chose to amend their constitution in 2002 to ban gestation crates, and Arizona banned them in 2006, as did Oregon in 2007 and Colorado in 2008. But very few people know that a similar bill has been proposed in New York State’s Assembly, where it is currently stuck in the Agriculture Committee. But will the Chair of the committee, William Magee (D-Nelson), allow the issue to go to a vote? Read more