Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poultry farmers want their own slice of California

From time to time Californians are asked to consider the possibility of splitting their large state. In a recent poll they answered the question with a stronger "no" than in recent years. But the state's chicken farmers are more likely to answer "yes."

As reported here, last fall's passage of Proposition 2 in California has major ramifications for the state's poultry industry due to its limits on animal confinement. A former legislator "has come up with the idea of splitting the state roughly along the lines of those who raise chickens and those who just eat them," reports Steve Wiegand of The Sacramento Bee. Maze sees splitting up California as a way around Proposition 2 so poultry farmers can continue raising their birds as they see fit.

Bill Maze "proposes spinning off 13 coastal counties from Los Angeles to Marin into one state, while the remaining 45 counties would, well, remain," writes Wiegand. Maze insists that urban Californians' naive view of farming practices should not be allowed to dictate farm policy for the state's rural residents. He further argues that allowing them to do so threatens the irreplaceable poultry industry in the state.

"According to Maze's 'Downsize California' Web site, the split is necessary because the state has become ungovernable," adds Wiegand. "Apparently, this became apparent to Central Valley farming interests after voters approved Proposition 2 last November." (Read more) As we reported here there are signs that Proposition 2 may be heading for other states.

1 comment:

donald said...

this is rather absurd. i understand how the proposition has had a negative impact on those farmers who fell prey to the get big or get out mentality but seriously, divide the state up? I also believe that the state should help facilitate factory farms financially transition into a more humane treatment of their animals. Either that or the state should force the corporations, such as tyson, who rely upon these factory farms to do so but lets be honest here, if that was the case the farmers would probably get the short end of the stick. The corporations would just rely upon China to supply their demand.