Sunday, August 15, 2010

A hint of change in factory farming

Read Erik Eckholm's report "Farmers Lean to Truce on Animals' Close Quarters" in the New York Times here. The dateline is West Mansfield, Ohio, population 700. An excerpt follows:

A recent agreement between farmers and animal rights activists here is a rare compromise in the bitter and growing debate over large-scale, intensive methods of producing eggs and meat, and may well push farmers in other states to give ground, experts say. The rising consumer preference for more “natural” and local products and concerns about pollution and antibiotic use in giant livestock operations are also driving change.

The surprise truce in Ohio follows stronger limits imposed by California voters in 2008; there, extreme caging methods will be banned altogether by 2015.
Eckholm's report notes that California passed a law this year to ban the import of eggs produced in crowded cages. Michigan, Florida and Arizona have passed less sweeping restrictions on such eggs.

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