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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Don't be Duped by Factory Farming Fakers

Chicken Yesterday, Wayne Pacelle blogged about the misnamed “Californians for Safe Food,” a group of factory farming fakers who defend confining animals in crates and cages, and who have been charged with mistreatment of animals and deceiving the public. These factory farmers banded together to oppose the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. They are funded by big business, the well-heeled agribusiness industry, which hopes to continue cutting corners at the expense of animal welfare, public health, and the environment.

But today came news that the factory farm operators got yet another infusion of cash—more than $500,000, for a total of more than $1 million during the last eight days—including more than $200,000 from Gemperle Enterprises. This is the very same factory farm in Turlock, Calif., that was exposed last month in an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals, showing birds with their wings and necks stuck in wire cages, and workers violently ripping birds out of cages without any regard for their welfare. The video even showed an employee swinging a bird around by her neck and throwing her against a wall, and another worker stomping on a hen and kicking her into a manure pit where she presumably drowned.

Watch the video. It’s one of the most compelling arguments in favor of voting “yes” on the November ballot initiative and preventing these abuses, and the campaign contribution from Gemperle’s deep pockets shows just what we are up against. Birds with untreated illnesses and carcasses rotting inside cages with live birds—is that what our opponents mean by “safe food”?

Groups that truly care about food safety are backing the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act—like the Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Protection. Animal welfare groups, environmental groups, veterinarians, family farmers, religious leaders, and lawmakers have swung behind the measure, too.Pigs_6

It’s clear that factory farms cannot self-regulate, and that laws are needed to protect animal welfare, food safety, and public health. The factory farmers instead are dropping serious cash to dupe Californians and counter this common-sense measure. We know we’re likely to be outspent by deep-pocketed factory farmers in this campaign, but we must be able to compete.

Animal advocates across the country are helping this critical effort by joining the $20/20 Campaign—giving just $20 (or more!) to help these 20 million animals who are trapped inside small crates and cages in California. Click here to donate. Or, you can donate via our widget on MySpace or Facebook if you’re on those networks.

Once you donate, please forward this and spread the word (click here for some ideas, including using your Facebook and MySpace pages!). By giving JUST $20, you can help change the world for 20 million animals. Then ask 20 friends to do the same.

Let’s show Gemperle and the other animal abusers that Californians won’t be hoodwinked by their malarkey. They’ve been caught on tape, and caught in their lies.

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