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California and Florida both pass animal welfare laws by a landslide

Animal welfare initiatives sometimes meet a cold reception in Congress and state legislatures, but have often been a huge success when advocates take the measures directly to the voters.

KELSEY PIPER: ‘Animal welfare advocates put two major initiatives on the ballot this November and saw emphatic wins on both Tuesday night. In California, they were fighting to set standards for the treatment of caged animals. In Florida, they were working to ban greyhound racing. Both measures succeeded by large margins. California’s Proposition 12 establishes minimum space requirements for egg-laying chickens, calves raised for veal, and pregnant pigs. It builds on a previous successful proposition for farmed animal conditions from 2008…

The results in California and Florida are suggestive of a trend that animal advocates had already noticed: animal welfare initiatives sometimes meet a cold reception in Congress and state legislatures, but have often been a huge success when advocates take the measures directly to the voters. Measures for animal welfare attract broad, bipartisan support. They may be a great vehicle to advance the well-being of animals…

Proposition 12 had the support of the Humane Society, the ASPCA, the Center for Food Safety, the Sierra Club, and Earth Justice. Opposed were the Association of California Egg Farmers and the National Pork Producers Council, which objected that voters shouldn’t tell farmers how to raise their livestock. Less predictably, PETA also opposed the proposition, arguing that it might delay implementation of some requirements from the earlier Proposition 2. The proposition attracted strong support from voters, with more than 59 percent approving at 11:45 pm Tuesday night…

Florida saw high turnout driven by closely fought Senate and governor races. Amendment 13, which banned commercial greyhound racing, needed 60 percent support in order to be approved, and it ended up attracting overwhelming support, with 69 percent of voters in favor… Greyhound racing will be phased out over the next two years. “Greyhounds are sweet and loyal companions,” said Kate McFall at the Humane Society of the United States in a statement, “and the phase out of this industry provides an incredible opportunity for thousands of these gentle dogs to find loving homes”.’ SOURCE…

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