PROGRESS! Signature-Gathering Success Brings Cage-Free Measure to MA

Today we’re a step closer to ending the extreme confinement of farmed animals once and for all. This afternoon, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, a group backed by Mercy For Animals and a broad coalition of animal protection, environmental, public health, and veterinary organizations, submitted the final round of signatures needed to place a major new animal protection measure on the Massachusetts ballot this November.

If approved by voters, the proposed law would require that meat and eggs sold in the Bay State come from animals given enough room to turn around, stand up, and fully extend their limbs, sparing millions of animals each year from unimaginable suffering in battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates. Similar laws are already in place in California and elsewhere, while companies from McDonald’s to Walmart are quickly transitioning from suppliers who use cage confinement. Support from the people of Massachusetts may be the final push needed to end this cruel and outdated practice.

The proposed law already has incredible momentum: More than a thousand volunteers stepped forward last fall to collect 133,000 signatures of support from Massachusetts voters—twice as many as required! Today we completed the second and final round of signature gathering by submitting an additional 40,000 signatures—four times as many as required! You can bet this grassroots energy will translate into an unstoppable campaign as we approach a vote this fall.

Agribusiness interests are already determined to fight this initiative tooth and nail. In April, they filed a lawsuit desperately aimed at keeping the measure off the ballot. Fortunately, a state court tossed out that lawsuit earlier this morning.

The stakes could not be higher for the animals the proposed law would help—for example, the hens who produce most of the state’s eggs. Confined in battery-cage facilities like Shady Brae Farms in Pennsylvania, these birds are packed together so tightly they can barely move and commonly become stuck in cage wires, condemned to die of dehydration or trampling.
Conditions at Shady Brae Farms, an MA egg supplier.

These hens deserve better. Thankfully, the people of Massachusetts will soon get to speak up for them by demanding common-sense standards to protect farmed animals.

Please sign up here to learn how to get involved with the campaign.