Don't let agribusiness write the rules

Letters to the Editor

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.

I’m angry that they would be pushing hard on this bill here in Massachusetts to try to confuse voters and undermine support for a genuine animal protection effort, the ballot measure known as the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals. That measure would simply require that hens, pigs and calves be given enough space to stand up, turn around, and extend their limbs. I can see why some callous meat and egg corporations hate this idea, because it would stop their current cruel practice of locking animals in cages so small the animals are rendered virtually immobile.

As Massachusetts voters and compassionate human beings, we must seize the opportunity and do our utmost to prevent indecent and cruel treatment of all animals. I hope lawmakers see through the deception of H.713 and instead join the majority of Massachusetts residents in supporting the ballot measure.