Poachers Arrive at Egg Farms
Other States Hope to Lure California Poultry Producers Unhappy About a New Law
By LAUREN ETTER
Wall Street Journal
A year after Californians approved stricter rules on the treatment of farm animals, Idaho and other states are trying to lure away the Golden State's poultry and egg farmers with promises of friendlier regulations and lower costs.
In Idaho, as lawmakers convened Monday, Republican state Sen. Tim Corder said he would introduce legislation designed to attract California chicken farmers who might consider relocating. In Nevada, Pershing County is aggressively recruiting poultry farmers in California, the nation's fifth-largest producer of eggs. Georgia's poultry industry also has reached out to some California farmers in a bid to woo them eastward, California egg-industry officials say.
The movement comes after California voters in November 2008 passed a ballot initiative called Proposition 2 designed to prevent "cruel confinement" of farm animals in cramped conditions, like small "battery cages" for egg-laying chickens, or "gestation crates" for pregnant pigs.
A healthy business environment is essential for family farms and ranches to survive. As much as we love the life we live and doing what we do, it a requirement that it is profitable too. A few states, like California, have passed regulations that have degraded the business climate for these families. It’s only natural that they would look for other places to move their business and also for other states to recruit them. So even though activist groups can sometimes convince voters to pass unnecessary regulations, it doesn’t mean these families will continue living there.