Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lucky Number 790,486

As one of the key grassroots endorsers of the Humane California Campaign, EBAA is pleased to announce the ballot initiative drive reached its six-month signature gathering goal. Not only did the California-based consortium of progressive organizations and concerned individuals meet the monstrous goal, the campaign exceeded it. The total number of signatures captured for the November-bound ballot initiative was 790,486. Approximately 2 percent of Californians signed on to de-intensify animal agriculture.

As campaign officials were busy delivering the signatures to county election offices, ag industry officials pulled out their calculators for a math problem: How much will it cost California egg farmers to go cage-free?

Feedstuffs FoodLink answers: "For California producers to maintain egg production at current levels, they would need to convert all existing cage-production houses to cage free and construct 515 new cage-free houses to accommodate larger space requirements for cage-free production systems at a cost of $500 million, not counting land costs, according to the analysis."

Industry officials are making a good move by calculating costs now. November is right around the corner. Soon, livestock and poultry farmers will need to start writing checks for the costs mentioned above.

Ah, democracy is a sweet thing.