Some cage-free egg producers fear effects of Prop. 2
By Suzanne BohanOakland Tribune
Article Launched: 09/24/2008 09:52:40 PM PDT
Steve Mahrt, a third-generation chicken farmer, runs one of the region's largest cage-free, egg-laying hen farms. The tens of thousands of birds on his 40-acre spread at the end of a country road live on a vegetarian diet, and antibiotics never pass through their beaks.
This pioneer of cage-free farming might seem a natural supporter of a November ballot initiative, Proposition 2, which, if passed, would effectively end in the confinement of egg-laying hens inside cages in California.
Instead, the ballot measure has him lying awake at night, worried that what he calls its vague language will spell the end of his business.
"This whole thing could possibly fall apart in front of my eyes," said Mahrt, whose cheerful expression becomes clouded with concern when discussing Proposition 2. Read More
There is no doubt that all livestock producers, regardless of their management style, should be concerned about this ballot measure. HSUS has one main goal when it comes to animal agriculture, and that is to eliminate it. In writing this proposal, they have certainly left many things up to interpretation. It is easy to say now what their intent is, but if it passes, their tune could easily change.