Today HumaneWatch.org, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), criticized Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal’s (D/WF-Manhattan) proposed legislation, NY A.B. 424, which would harm farmers in New York by banning common farming practices. Rosenthal’s bill prohibits farmers from safely housing pregnant sows in maternity pens and also imposes restrictions on hen and veal farmers. The bill was introduced and referred yesterday to the Agriculture Committee.
Anti-meat animal rights activists, such as the Humane Society of the United Sates (HSUS), have been trying to ban sow maternity pens and egg cages in hopes of forcing farmers to make costly infrastructure changes—increasing the price of meat for consumers which serves their vegan agenda while driving farmers who can’t afford the cost out of business.
“This bill should be titled the ‘Bankrupt New York Farmers Act,’ because that’s all it will accomplish, besides potentially decreasing animal welfare,” said CCF Executive Director Rick Berman. “New York farmers are the new target of animal rights activists like the Humane Society of the United States, a radical PETA-type group that wants to take bacon out of BLTs.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians both find that housing pregnant pigs individually is an option that provides for animal welfare. Sows in group housing can fight for food and dominance, leading to nasty injuries. Additionally, the AVMA finds that hen cages help provide for lower mortality rates and reduced exposure to hazards for egg-laying hens, while hens in “cage-free” environments have greater exposure to disease vectors and a higher risk of internal parasites.
Rosenthal’s bill mimics the 2008 “Proposition 2” ballot initiative in California that was supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which is not affiliated with similarly named New York humane society pet shelters.
University of California-Davis researchers calculated that Proposition 2 would almost completely eliminate California’s egg farmers. Following the European Union’s ban on conventional hen cages last year, egg prices skyrocketed across the continent by 67 percent as a supply shortage took effect. Similarly, an EU ban on maternity pens just took hold last week, and experts predict it will shrink the pork supply and drive up prices for consumers.
“New York legislators should not be swayed by the scientifically baseless, emotional arguments of groups looking to get rid of animal protein in Americans’ diets,” continued Berman. “Assemblywoman Rosenthal should look out for hardworking farmers who produce food for New Yorkers, not radical vegan activists who have their own agenda.”