Tuesday was an historic day in America in more ways than one. With resounding victories for California’s Prop 2 and Massachusetts’s Ballot Question 3, voters on both coasts sent a clear message that preventing animal cruelty is a national priority.
In California, the factory farm-related Standards for Confining Farm Animals Act (ballot Proposition 2) won in a landslide, with over 60 percent of respondents voting “yes” to mandate an increase of confinement space for veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens. On the Act’s effective date, January 1, 2015, these animals will have their rights to turn around, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs guaranteed by state law. Violators will face a fine up to $1,000 or six months in county jail.
The Massachusetts ban on dog racing has been a long time coming—in 2000, a similar ballot measure was narrowly defeated, and attempts to get the question included on the 2006 ballot were unsuccessful. With the ban’s passage this week (57 percent to 43 percent), commercial dog racing will be phased out in Massachusetts by 2010. There are two dog tracks in the state—each of which is believed to currently house about 1,000 greyhounds. Because the phase-out will occur over a period of 14 months, greyhound advocacy groups such as Grey2K USA are confident that they will be able to find homes for any racing dogs who become available for adoption.
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