A ballot initiative that would replace California's current hen-housing law with the guidelines of United Egg Producers (an egg industry trade association) has been given its number by election officials, Proposition 12.
Proposition12’s future, however, is in serious doubt due to the imminent passage of AB 3021 (Levine) which would institute the exact same cage-space allotment (one square foot per hen) contained in the initiative.
That is only the first among many problems facing Proposition 12.
In a legislative hearing that even supporters conceded was "embarrassing," the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) failed to answer basic questions about its signature-gathering campaign and the initiative which recently qualified for the November 2018 ballot.
Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry began with the most fundamental question: "You wrote Proposition 2 in 2008, and you wanted cage-free housing. Why did you not write Prop 2 to require cage free then?"
HSUS sidestepped that question. Assembly Members Marc Levine and Devon Mathis then requested details about the campaign’s fundraising and its paid signature-gathering practices. HSUS responded that it was unable to provide the information requested.
Much of that information was, however, provided later by animal activists opposing the measure.
Bradley Miller, spokesperson for Californians Against Cruelty, Cages, and Fraud and the No On Prop 12 campaign, not only provided facts about HSUS's signature gathering, but also delivered a blistering critique of the measure itself, which is often referred to as "the rotten egg initiative."
Proposition 12 flatly contradicts HSUS’s previous “cage-free” initiative (2008’s Proposition 2) by explicitly legalizing the continued use of egg industry cages throughout California for several more years.
"The Humane Society of the United States is once again deceiving voters, flip-flopping on the issue of cages, and perpetuating the suffering of egg-laying hens," said Miller.
"The exact same egg-industry guidelines called for in this initiative are within days of being passed by the legislature. Prop 12 is now just a publicity stunt in search of a lawsuit." Miller continued, "Not only does this come at taxpayer expense, HSUS's reckless exploitation of California's ballot measure system is putting in grave danger a wide array of existing consumer, animal, and environmental protection laws."
“Of the initiatives appearing on the November ballot, Proposition 12 is the dirtiest of the dozen,” concluded Miller, “We’re confident that California voters won’t get fooled again and that this fraudulent initiative will be decisively rejected.”
The Humane Farming Association (HFA) is dedicated to the protection of farm animals. Founded in 1985, and over 250,000 members strong, HFA has garnered worldwide recognition and respect for its landmark anti-cruelty campaigns including, most notably, its successful National Veal Boycott. HFA is particularly well known for its unparalleled track record of credibility, accuracy, and integrity in addressing legislative issues pertaining to farm animals.
With an unyielding focus on combating the imprisonment of animals in cages and crates, HFA initiated the nation's first major TV, radio, and print media campaigns exposing farm animal abuses; and — among other initiatives — introduced the very first state and federal legislation in the United States targeting factory farm confinement. HFA’s hard-hitting, principled campaigns against factory farming highlight the real-world effect of maintaining integrity and core values while pursuing animal protection.
HFA's goals are to protect farm animals from cruelty and abuse, to protect the public from the misuse of antibiotics, hormones, and other chemicals used on factory farms, and to protect the environment from the impacts of industrialized animal factories. HFA’s comprehensive programs include anti-cruelty investigations and exposés, national media campaigns, and legislation. HFA also provides direct hands-on emergency care and refuge for abused farm animals at HFA’s Suwanna Ranch – the world's largest farm animal rescue and refuge facility.
All combined, HFA's programs and activities represent the greatest hopes of those seeking to create a better world for farm animals.