The Washington Farm Animal Cruelty Prevention, Initiative 1130,
may appear on the November 2011
statewide ballot in Washington
as an Initiative to the People
. The measure would adopt new rules for egg-laying hens in Washington.
More specifically, the measure would require "egg-laying hens have enough room to turn around and extend their wings and that eggs sold in the state are produced incompliance with this humane standard."
A total of three initiatives have been filed: 1128, 1129 and 1130.
The Washington proposal is similar to laws in California and Michigan which restrict cages for calves.
The measure is supported by the Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary. The coalition, according to reports, is called Washingtonians for Humane Farms.
In early April 2011 the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association announced that they do not support the proposed measure. Instead the organization has announced it's support for Senate Bill 5487, which would establish a certification program for commercial egg laying chicken operations. "In our opinion, only the pending legislation in SB 5487 offers a consistent structure to improve hen welfare and an annual audit plan for verification of compliance and that's why we back it. We could have left it there and not offered an opinion on I-1130 except the initiative offers no plan for audit, no clear scientific standards or structure specifically researched to improve the lives of laying hens, and no additional empowerments for enforcement," said the organization in an April 2011 press release.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Washington signature requirements
In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters are required to submit a minimum of 241,153 valid signatures.
- ↑ Washington Secretary of State,"Initiative Measure No. 1130," retrieved January 28, 2011
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 The Spokesman Review,"A chicken & egg initiative," January 19, 2011
- ↑ Associated Press,"Humane Society wants to ban cages for Wash. hens," January 19, 2011
- ↑ The Bellingham Herald,"Kindness-for-hens initiative is filed," January 19, 2011
- ↑ Washington State Veterinary Medical Association,"Veterinary Association Rejects Supporting Hen Cage Ban Initiative," April 5, 2011