Animal Welfare on the Line in State Ballot Measures

The outcome of these ballot measures this fall will affect conditions for farm animals and wildlife. AWI supports the first three and opposes the fourth.

Montana I-177 would end commercial and recreational trapping on public lands in the state and establish misdemeanor criminal penalties for violations of the trapping prohibitions.

Oregon Petition #68, the Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act, would prohibit trade in 12 highly trafficked species, to discourage poaching. Violators could be subject to felony-level fines. California, Hawaii, and Washington already have similar laws.

Massachusetts Question 3 would require that egg-laying hens, veal calves, and sows not be confined “in a cruel manner,” defined as being prevented from “lying down, standing up, fully extending the animal’s limbs, or turning around freely.” The initiative would also ban the sale in the state of products from animals confined in this manner. (See AWI Quarterly, fall 2015, for more on this measure.)

Oklahoma State Question 777, would add a “right to farm” to the state constitution. The measure is more like a “right to harm,” however, as the intent is to prevent voters and legislators from adopting meaningful improvements in farm animal welfare.