The campaign pressing to ban the use of certain animal confinement practices on farms said Tuesday it had gathered an additional 40,000 signatures to secure its spot on the November ballot, well in excess of the 10,792 signatures required by Wednesday. Wednesday is the deadline for the campaigns to submit their signatures to municipal officials. Once signatures are certified, campaigns must turn them in to Secretary of State William Galvin's office by July 6.
No more than 2,698 signatures can be from one county. "It is clear Massachusetts voters feel strongly about this initiative, which would finally protect farm animals from cruel and abusive treatment," Citizens for Farm Animal Protection said in statement Tuesday. The ballot question would require that by 2022 Massachusetts farms and businesses produce and sell only eggs and meat that come from animals raised in humane conditions in not in restrictive cages that limit their movement. While the practice of using such cages is not common in Massachusetts, critics worry it could drive up the price of goods, including eggs, sold from farms outside the state. The campaign said it collected more than 133,000 signatures with the help of more than 1,000 volunteers and no paid signature gathers during the first phase of qualifying for the ballot when 64,750 signatures were due. Two other campaigns seeking the rollback of the Common Core curriculum in Massachusetts and charter school expansion told the News Service Tuesday they had gathered an additional 30,000 signatures , while the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said it planned to turn in 25,000 signatures to municipal clerks on Wednesday.