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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Regulating Cow Drivers

     Leave it to the folks in California to start a controversy over the rights of farm animals.
     You read that correctly, the rights of farm animals.
      The Farm Sanctuary group, self-described as the nation's leading farm animal protection organization, put on the California statewide ballot a proposal to protect livestock from abuse. 
      The voters bought it and now California regulates the size of cages in which animals are shipped, the temperature of the water cows can drink and all the chickens out there are now range-free.
      Farm Sanctuary is now embroiled in a similar fight right in our own farm yard and it's plenty mad that right now "Big Agribusiness" is winning the fight.
      In the House Agriculture Committee last week they took testimony on four bills that would regulate the abuse of farm animals but the legislation does not go as far as the California stuff.
     The animals rights group calls this a "blatant attempt" by industrial farmers to "evade meaningful change for Michigan farm animals."
      Committee chair Rep. Mike Simpson (D-Jackson) says he favors legislation to "catch the bad actors who are treating animals inhumanely" but the standards should be based on science and not on what Farm Sanctuary demands.
     In the cryptic quote of the year, Simpson opines, "In Michigan we firmly believe that animals are part of the food chain.  They should not have the right to drive a car."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of the three topics you associate with California's new law are addressed at all in the actual law. It has nothing to do with the transportation of animals, nothing to do with the temperature of water, and nothing to do with chickens being outside.

The title of the blog (about cow drivers) is odd, since the California law has literally nothing to do with the driving of cows.

The law simply requires while they're on the farm, veal calves, breeding pigs, and laying hens are able to stand up, lie down, turn around, and extend their limbs. It's that basic.

The measure was supported by majorities of rural and urban Californians alike, and had the support of more than 100 California farmers.

June 30, 2009 at 7:24 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On factory farms, calves used for veal are crated their entire lives and often shackled by their necks. Egg-laying chickens live in cages so small, they cannot even spread one wing. In fact, their cages are smaller than a sheet of paper! The voters of California passed a law to provide more room for animals to slightly improve conditions for them on factory farms. Animals on factory farms are denied everything natural to them. They do not get to roam on big, green pastures. They do not get to socialize with each other. They live in confinement in their own feces. If I put my dog in these conditions, I'd be arrested. But, it is perfectly legal to do this to cows, pigs, and chickens. If we can enact laws to stop cruelty to dogs and cats, we can for "farm" animals.

The bills introduced by Mike Simpson would allow animal cruelty such as veal crates and battery hen cages. It would also put power in the hands of factory farms to regulate themselves! I am writing to my state senator and representative to oppose these bills.

June 30, 2009 at 9:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While farm animals may be part of the food chain, there's no valid reason for treating them inhumanely, especially when voters clearly prefer that they be given the very basic ability to move around. Should they drive cars? No. Should they be able to lead lives free from suffering? Yes.

June 30, 2009 at 9:53 AM 
Blogger dlmjr said...

You speak of the religous right quite abit.Could you id the ones in michigan causing all the turmoil

July 3, 2009 at 3:20 AM 

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