Food safety is a top headline every few months due to industry food recalls or disease outbreaks. Considering the large number of Americans sickened every day by foodborne pathogens, this issue also deserves to be at the top of the political agenda as well. That's why I'm very encouraged that here in Massachusetts we have the opportunity to vote for a ballot measure that would significantly bolster food safety and protect human health.
In addition to the presidential and local elections, Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on several ballot questions that will directly affect their daily lives.
Question 2 asks voters to lift the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. If approved, the measure would allow Massachusetts to add as many as a dozen charter schools a year, with the focus being on communities with low-performing schools.
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 18, 2015......Secretary of State William Galvin announced late Friday that his office has certified that seven initiative petition campaigns submitted a sufficient number of signatures and their proposals will be sent to the Legislature for consideration, moving the initiatives one step closer to the ballot.
Where do your eggs come from?
A fresh dispute is brewing between animal rights and agriculture over a ballot initiative that would prohibit the confinement of pigs, calves and chickens, and prohibit the sale of meat and eggs in Massachusetts from animals that have been confined.
"This initiative really speaks to some very basic standards in terms of animals being able to stand up, lie down, turn around," said Mary Nee, president of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. "This is pretty fundamental."
Relying on the strength of more than 1,000 volunteers and no paid signature gathering firm, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection today announced that the coalition has gathered more than 130,000 signatures of Massachusetts voters in support of the proposed 2016 statewide ballot measure that would phase out extreme confinement and lifelong immobilization of animals on factory farms as well as the sale of products produced under those conditions. The number of signatures collected is double the number of signatures required to qualify for the Massachusetts ballot.
There is a bill in front of the Massachusetts legislature, H. 713, that is meant to give the illusion it will improve farm animal welfare, but H.713 will just maintain the status quo for farm animals and further support the interests of agribusiness and the abuses of factory farming. Bill H. 713 proposes to establish a “Livestock Care and Standard Board” that would approve rules for farm animal care, however, lobbyists with ties to out-of-state meat and egg factory farms have ensured that this board will always be stacked with representatives favoring big agribusiness.
To the editor:
Our society has been educated over the past few years to the horrible, routine abuse of animals inflicted by large meat and egg companies. Most people now realize that protecting chickens, pigs and cows from needless cruelty is just as important as protecting dogs and cats.
That’s why I support the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, a ballot measure which would require meat and egg producers to simply give animals enough space to turn around and extend their limbs. This is currently denied to millions of animals locked in factory farm cages.
I’m compelled to write you directly in regards to Bill H.713 because whenever a campaign to help abused farm animals gains momentum in a state, lobbyists for the meat and egg industries push the same misleading concept: a “livestock board.” The lobbyists pretend livestock boards will help make strong rules about the treatment of animals used for food, when in reality they are designed to be rubber stamps for industrial agribusiness.
There is a growing concern in Massachusetts (and across the country) about the cruelty inflicted on animals used for food. Right now, millions of chickens, pigs and cows in factory farms are locked in cages so small they can barely move. Voters and charities across our state are mobilizing in support of the ballot measure known as the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, which would require farm animals be given at least enough space to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs.