Arizona citizens mobilize to defeat factory farm control

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Arizona is a major factory-farming state. At some hog-breeding farms, gestation crates are used. These two-foot wide crates keep the hogs confined to a tiny space their entire lives, much the same as hen battery cages and veal crates.

The Humane Farms Initiative was proposed in Arizona so that crates such as these would be outlawed. A similar initiative was successful in Florida, making it the first state to enact such a ban. Arizona factory farm interests fought back with Senate Concurrent Resolution 1035, which would have placed on the November ballot a constitutional amendment to require that all laws dealing with agriculture in the state of Arizona be adopted by an unnamed executive agency only. Passage of SCR 1035 would have made it impossible for the legislature to enact any control over the agricultural industry. The Humane Farms Initiative, even if it passed, would be become void by passage of SCR 1035.

Last month, the Arizona Rules Committee passed SCR 1035, but after a large number of Arizona citizens called, faxed, and emailed their senators, the resolution failed this week in the Committee of the Whole.

Surprising though it may be that Florida has led the way in banning certain of factory farming’s more horrific practices, now that the citizens of Arizona have picked up the campaign, there is every reason to believe that soon, other states will begin campaigns to stop at least some of America’s institutionalized cruelty against millions of farm animals.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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