Saturday, July 20, 2013

Colbert Comments on Confining California Chicken Cages

One factor driving the resurgence in backyard chickens has been growing awareness of the inhumane conditions that layer hens are subjected to in large commercial layer operations in what are called battery cages.

In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Cruelty Act, requiring, among other things, that calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs be confined only in way that allow these animals to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. 

Stephen Colbert contemplates 200 square inch cage. 
Egg producers were given until January 1, 2015 to come into compliance. 

In May of 2013 Republican Iowa Representative Steve King introduced federal legislation to become part of the Farm Bill that would override the California law. According to Wikipedia:

In May 2013, King introduced another amendment to the House Farm Bill, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA). He stated, "PICA blocks states from requiring 'free range' eggs or 'free range' pork."[31] Specifically, this amendment would affect the 2008 California agricultural legislation, Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. This act was meant to prohibit both the production and sales of battery cage eggs and ban veal crates and gestation crates in the state.[32] The King amendment was approved by voice vote, despite forceful arguments raised against it by Reps. Jim Costa, D-Calif., Jeff Denham, R-Calif., John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore. The Humane Society of the United States stated that, "King’s amendment could allow the overturning of every voter-approved animal welfare ballot measure relating to agriculture, including Proposition 2 in California (banning extreme confinement crates for pigs, veal calves and laying hens), Proposition 6 in California (forbidding the sale of horses for slaughter for human consumption), Proposition 204 in Arizona (banning veal and pig gestation crates) and Amendment 10 in Florida (outlawing pig gestation crates)."

Comedy Central's fake news correspondent, Stephen Colbert, tackled the issue, using his usual blend of irony, sarcasm, props, and insight to skewer Representative King's position. 

Click below to view the YouTube video.

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