Friday, January 8, 2010

States Ban Practices that Support CAFOs

Several states recently banned specific practices that are common in CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), taking small steps to level the playing field for more sustainable farms. California outlawed the amputation of dairy cows' tails, and Michigan passed a law phasing out restrictive crates for veal calves and pregnant sows, and tiny "battery" cages for egg-laying chickens, used to pack many animals together in a small space. Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, Colorado, and Oregon had previously acted to ban crates and battery cages, which, along with tail docking, are unnecessary practices that serve only to make large, polluting CAFOs viable. Meanwhile, examples abound of farmers successfully working with nature rather than against it to produce animal products without the problems associated with CAFOs. Listen to this recent National Public Radio story about one Ohio dairyman's efforts to transform the industry and produce fresher, more flavorful milk from cows on pasture.