Organic Consumers Association

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California Makes Cage-Free Hens a State Law by Approving Proposition 12

California voters overwhelmingly approved a measure Tuesday requiring that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens by 2022.

Proposition 12 also bans the sale of pork and veal in California from farm animals raised in cages that don’t meet the new minimum size requirements. That means the Golden State’s new rules will apply to farmers nationwide whose eggs, veal and pork are sold in California.

Supporters say the measure is a big step toward more humane farming practices, while opponents say it is misleading and maintains cruel practices for animals.

Dubbed the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, Proposition 12 builds on an earlier ballot measure, Proposition 2, that passed in 2008 and banned keeping hens, calves and pigs in tiny cages so cramped they couldn’t stand up, lie down or turn around.

That measure took effect in 2015 but lacked specific size requirements and did not apply to out-of-state farmers whose products were sold in California.

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