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Over the years, from the Stone Age era up to recent times, animal farming has been a prominent activity carried out by individuals of a given society for both personal and commercial purposes (Cregier 197). The methods used as well as techniques applied in the area of animal rearing have greatly advanced and improved efficiencies, especially with the introduction of modern technology (Peter 36).
One major concern that has been brought to the attention of animal farmers, in general, is the issue of whether or not it is appropriate to confine all or certain farm animals (Kitchell and Erikson 59).
Over time, animal farmers have been made aware of such farm production methods which include rearing certain animals within confined areas for instance cages or other spaces considered restrictive (Cregier 199).
This concern has led both governments and industries to come up with guidelines to ensure that farm animals are properly handled and taken care of (Kitchell and Erikson 62).
To make it illegal for individuals to be cruel to animals, the government has put in place such laws as state law. This law ensures that if animals are kept in confined enclosures, ample exercising space, as well as proper access to basics such as water, shelter, and food, are provided (Peter 37).
Mistreatment or mishandling of animals is also banned under the state law and anyone found guilty of violating the rules is prone to be fined, imprisoned or both (Cregier 201).
An example of a state where such strict laws concerning farm animals are being applied is the state of California. A measure known as Proposition 2 (Prop 2) was passed and is to be implemented starting 1st January 2015 (Peter 41). This Proposition is meant to curb and stop cruelty as well as inhumane treatment of animals. As a result, caging or confinement of animals is dealt with.
With the start of the year 2015, Prop 2 states that confinement of farm animals, with certain omissions such as calves, reared for beef, broilers (egg-laying hens) as well as pigs that are pregnant, will be prohibited (Kitchell and Erikson 65). This will be applied especially in cases where such animals do not have enough space to move, stand or fully make use of their limbs. Anyone found guilty under the law of Prop 2 will be fined up to $1,000 or face imprisonment of up to six months in county jail (Cregier 209).
When Prop 2 gets to be applied at the start of the year 2015, certain steps and actions will occur.
Since Prop 2 will prohibit the confinement of animals in an enclosed area, animal farmers will be forced to look for extra space to enable their animals to move freely (Kitchell and Erikson 69). Those farmers who normally mistreat and/or mishandle animals will be dealt with accordingly.
Natural resources will be immediately affected since more space for the animals would mean less crowding and confinement hence better management of wastes as in the case of factories (Cregier 213).
In addition, healthy competition between local economies and family small scale farmers will occur and result in enhancement of competition to bring down the high market prices (Peter 45).
Despite some arguing that the implementation of Prop 2 will lead to job losses as well as expose people and birds to illnesses such as salmonella and bird flu respectively, it will in the end ensure better food quality as well as safety for the animals.
Cregier, S. E. Farm Animal Ethology: A Source Book. Captus Press: Ontario, Canada. 1989. Pp. 196 – 213.
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Peter Carruthers. The Animal Issue: Moral Theory in Practice. Cambridge University Press. 1992. pp. 35 – 50.
R.L. Kitchell and H.H. Erikson (eds.). Animal Pain: Perception and Alleviation. Williams and Williams Co., Baltimore. 1983. pp. 58 – 79.