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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2008
AVMA issues statement on California Proposition 2
— The largest and most respected veterinary association in the United States is cautioning that the California ballot initiative, Proposition 2, while admirable in its attempt to address the behavioral needs of animals, contains livestock confinement standards that may hurt the animals they are intended to help.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) issued a statement (PDF) today, which, in part, reads: "The AVMA believes Proposition 2, 'Standards for Confining Farm Animals,' is admirable in its goal to improve the welfare of production farm animals; however, it ignores critical aspects of animal welfare that ultimately would threaten the well-being of the very animals it strives to protect."
"Proposition 2 may have negative impacts on animals, consumers and the industry if it's passed," explains Dr. David McCrystle, AVMA Executive Board chair. "We fully agree that more attention needs to be paid to the behavioral and social needs of food animals, and Proposition 2 is laudable in that it attempts to address these needs, but the standards in this ballot initiative fall short in improving animal welfare because they fail to adequately consider other factors. Animal welfare is a complex issue and demands that decisions be based on science, tempered with compassion, and take into account all aspects of welfare. Changing housing standards without consideration of how this may affect other aspects of animal welfare, such as protection from disease and injury, will not be in the animals' or society's best interest."
For more information, please visit www.avma.org.