DECEMBER 2008 volume 113 number 12
Where do we go from here? 1
Editorial with Dr. Simon Shane 4
Using vaccination to control diseases 6
Global egg industry sees modest increase 12
Ivy’s 2009 AEB agenda includes funding increase 14
9 statistics to guide the industry 16
Industry News 18
Product News 20
UEP to build on 2008 achievements 21
Following Proposition 2:
Where do we go from here?
By Simon M. Shane, Editor
By the Friday morning after the
election, the dust from Proposition 2 had started to settle and the
realities were becoming clearer. The
Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS) and their numerous supporters are basking in the glow of an almost
65/35 win and are no doubt planning
further initiatives to advance their agenda of displacing cage housing of hens
for egg production.
Industry leaders approached for comment were obviously reluctant to be
quoted directly although various organizations have issued predictable statements. Gene Gregory of the United Egg
Producers was “disappointed.” He added, “From the very beginning we knew
that we were fighting an uphill battle.”
Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical
Association, was “encouraged to see voters in California take such an interest in
animal welfare.” He cautioned that “
veterinarians and animal welfare scientists
must be involved in its implementation…
to actually improve conditions for the animals they are intended to help.”
Achievements not enough
The lead organization opposing Proposition 2 outlined what they had achieved
from their expenditure of over $4 million
through spokesperson Matt Sampson.
They categorized their activities including
endorsements by 30 newspapers, lobbying
©Dipego I Dreamstime
efforts with the offices of the California
Attorney General and Secretary of State,
and cementing a strong coalition of business, agriculture, minorities and unions.
It is evident that the significant issue on
which the opposition was based, namely
the scientifically valid arguments for confinement housing of livestock, was not
understood by the electorate.
The economic justifications, including
90,000 jobs, $950 million in revenue and
$126 million in taxes was discounted in
favor of an emotional response based on
the perceptions and uninformed prejudices of urban voters.
The question now should not be, “Why
did Proposition 2 pass with an overwhelming majority?” but “Where does the industry go from here?”
Prolonged battle not wise
Meetings, hurriedly convened, have
elicited a number of reactions. First, what
is the legal status of the proposition?
Some are advocating court challenges.
This would not be prudent.