To the editor:
Concerned citizens of Massachusetts are currently gathering petition signatures to support the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals. These signatures would put a question on the ballot for the November election that would allow Massachusetts voters to make a difference for farm animals on large farms, and to improve food safety across the state.
The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals aims to ensure pigs, laying hens and veal calves have enough room to move freely and extend their limbs. For example, veal calves are kept in crates so small their muscle development is inhibited. Pigs raised for breeding are kept in cages about 2 feet wide, cannot turn around, and without the ability to explore, are deprived of mental stimulation of any kind.
From a food safety standpoint, since several studies show that severely confining laying hens can lead to an increase in salmonella in resulting eggs, and the FDA recognizes salmonella as a serious egg-associated illness, the act is a common-sense approach to reduce both confinement and disease. The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals has been endorsed by the MSPCA, ASPCA, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, as well as hundreds of veterinary professionals and many veterinary clinics and hospitals across Massachusetts.
Please join organizations like these by signing a petition, spreading the word, or requesting more information about this important cause at www.citizensforfarmanimals.com.