Proposition 12

Proposition 12 -- Farm animals What it does: The measure would build on Proposition 2 of 2008 by enacting more specific space requirements for egg-laying hens, pregnant pigs and veal calves. Proposition 2 said the animals must have enough space to turn around freely, laylie down and extend their limbs. This measure says each hen would have to be housed in one square foot of space by 2020 and be cage-free by 2022. Veal calves would have 43 square feet of space by 2020. And pigs would each have 24 square feet of space by 2022. The measure bans the sale of eggs, pork or veal that was raised – either in California or out of state – in housing that does not meet the space requirements.How much it costs: The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates prices would increase because many farmers would have to build new facilities for the animals and because many would take years to do so, reducing the supply of the products. Also, the state would spend up to $10 million a year enforcing the new standards, the LAO predicts.

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  • Yes - For the Measure

  • No - Against the Measure

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Statements for and against the measure:

Supporters: Humane Society of the United States; SPCA.

What they say: It is inhumane to confine animals in small spaces. Caging hens and confining animals in small spaces is unsanitary and increases the chances of food poisoning. Cage-free farms employ more workers.
Opponents: California Farm Bureau; Humane Farming Association; PETA.

What they say: The measure doesn’t go far enough because it would allow caged hens until 2022. Cage-free provisions still would allow enclosures that give hens as little as one square foot in which to exist. Passing the measure would send the wrong message to consumers that humane measures had been taken, when they had not.