Thursday, August 12, 2010

The (Beginning of the) End of Factory Farming?

From the New York Timesan article about the recent agreement between farmers and animal rights advocates in Ohio:
The surprise truce in Ohio follows stronger limits imposed by California voters in 2008; there, extreme caging methods will be banned altogether by 2015. In another sign of the growing clout of the animal welfare movement, a law passed in California this year will also ban imports from other states of eggs produced in crowded cages. Similar limits were approved last year in Michigan and less sweeping restrictions have been adopted in Florida, Arizona and other states.

Hoping to avoid a divisive November referendum that some farmers feared they would lose, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio urged farm leaders to negotiate with opponents, led by the Humane Society of the United States. After secret negotiations, the sides agreed to bar new construction of egg farms that pack birds in cages, and to phase out the tight caging of pregnant sows within 15 years and of veal calves by 2017.

Seems like a pretty unambitious timeline... but then I guess it's better to strike a deal and get a gradual phase out rather than have a protracted acrimonious struggle over many years that still ends in a gradual phase out.

Anyway, some good news (for a change) for your Thursday morning.

photo by Flickr user Thomas Hawk used under a Creative Commons license