Letters to the Editor

'Factory farms' initiative unneeded

Regarding "Help make 'factory farms' humane" (Jan. 24, Letters): The writer is well-intended but misinformed in her support of an initiative that would ban pork gestation and veal crates and certain cages for hens.

There is virtually no veal crating and relatively little pork gestation crating in California, which leaves only the hen cages in question. And there is no scientific proof that predominant hen cage practices are less humane than other methods.

California's farmers work hard to provide proper care for their animals, using scientifically proven methods while keeping our food supply safe, reliable and affordable. Feed, light, air, water, space and sanitation are the basis of animal husbandry and more important than where the hen lives.

Egg farmers employ sound practices to ensure the health and safety of the hens laying the eggs that feed California's families. Consumers can already buy cage-free, organic or free-range products, and as demand grows for these methods, egg farmers respond.

Farm animal health and welfare policies should be guided by the scientists, veterinarians and farmers who care for those animals. The health and safety of these animals and our food supply should not be at the mercy of emotion-based but ill-conceived ballot initiatives.

NANCY REIMERS, DVM, MSpVM

diplomate, American College

of Poultry Veterinarians

Gustine

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