Targets: State Attorneys General Chris Koster (Missouri), Luther Strange (Alabama), Tom Miller (Iowa), Jack Conway (Kentucky), Jon Bruning (Nebraska), and E. Scott Pruitt (Oklahoma)
Goal: Demand that the attorneys general drop a harmful lawsuit against California’s animal welfare standards for chickens
California voted to allow its egg-laying hens, calves raised for veal, and pregnant pigs to have space to lie down, stand up, extend their limbs, and turn around. This was in 2008. The legislature then passed a law requiring all eggs sold in California to meet these minimum standards. This was in 2010. Now, after voters and their state representatives have exercised their right to protect health and safety in their own state, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster poses a direct threat to the welfare of chickens, domestic farm animals, and consumers in California. He is not alone. The attorneys general in Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Oklahoma have joined Missouri in this lawsuit.
California and all other states have the right to make their own laws regarding health and safety of citizens, and this includes animal welfare issues. Voters have the right to determine where their eggs come from. The opposing states claim that the law unfairly disadvantages non-California producers, who have to make changes in order to treat animals justly. What they really mean is that agribusiness is not willing to spend money to comply with basic standards for animal welfare, and is therefore not able to compete with California producers.
If the partners in the lawsuit win and defeat California’s law, this could negatively impact not only chickens in California, but also the ability of voters and legislatures to pass new laws that protect animal welfare. The results could be catastrophic. California should instead be commended for its leadership animal welfare reform. Sign the petition to tell Missouri’s Attorney General and his friends to drop the lawsuit against California in order to protect the welfare of chickens and other domestic animals.
Dear Attorneys General Chris Koster, Luther Strange, Tom Miller, Jack Conway, Jon Bruning, and E. Scott Pruitt,
In 2008, California voters made a statement as both voters and consumers, to say that in their state they want chickens and other farm animals to be able to lie down, stand up, extend their limbs, and turn around. In 2010, the legislature enacted a law supporting these voters and requiring that all eggs sold in California must meet these minimum animal welfare standards. After California exercised its right to protect its own health and safety, you are now suing because it is too expensive for your producers to meet basic standards in order to protect animals.
Your motives for opposing California’s law and not implementing humane standards must be about saving the producers in your state money. It is difficult to understand what motive you could otherwise have for bringing a lawsuit to prevent chickens from being able to raise their wings, and calves and pigs from being able to stretch their limbs. Treatment that does not permit these basic movements is cruel.
As you come from states with many laws that protect your own health and safety, we ask that you respect states’ rights, the animals in your states, and animals in California. Please drop your harmful lawsuit against California.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lilly M via Wikimedia Commons.