I volunteer for the “YES ON 3” campaign. Over the past year more than 1,000 volunteers petitioned for this measure and received overwhelming support by gathering 170,000 signatures throughout the Commonwealth. I would like to clarify some information regarding Letter to the Editor titled; “Have You Seen Question 3 for the November Ballot?” (see Letters to the Editor, Groton Herald, Sept. 16 issue.)
If passed, Q3 would ban “extreme” confinement of veal calves, gestating pigs and egg-laying hens, where animals are primarily immobilized. The measure states they should be able to stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch their limbs in enclosures and not be confined in a cruel manner. Any business/farm/operation in MA including out-of-state suppliers selling whole products in MA must meet these requirements, effective 2022. For specific terminology visit; www.yeson3.com/rescources or www.mass.gov, current petitions 2015-2016, An Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals.
Right now in a MA facility thousands of hens live in battery cages, a space so small they can barely move or lift their wings. Q3 helps these animals and prevents other operations that use cruel confinement from opening here; there is no current law against it.
Veal calves, gestating pigs and hens by the millions suffer across the country unable to move or get out their own feces. These products are sold to consumers all over MA. A group setting provides animals with some natural behaviors they are currently denied.
Studies show animals that have adequate space are less stressed, yield a better product, are healthier, contract less sickness and disease. The pork and egg industries provided their own studies showing minimal cost increases.
This is good news for our food supply and families!
Q3 prevents animal cruelty, promotes responsible farming, public health and has broad support from over 500 Massachusetts businesses, organizations, and community leaders.