WOW!! PASS IT FORWARD TO EVERYONE….
We are very lucky to be able to obtain the Complaint directly from the attorney, Dale Stern, Esq., of Downey Brand LLP, Sacramento, http://www.downeybrand.com/ that filed the case. S8842_A00K012112009510 (click to read Complaint!) You can see by reading the complaint that efforts have been made to discern just what needs to be done to meet the HSUS shell game requirements for hen enclosures.
Apparently the HSUS “working” with the group (Association of California Egg Farmers who filed the lawsuit against the State of California ) to get a Federal standard in place has not gone well, since we are very aware that agriculture groups have figured out–they ARE the HSUS’ target, and this has been the case for quite some time, as one can see by reading the 12 Steps of Animal Rights [Step #4, Eliminate all animal agriculture; see all 12 steps here http://petdefense.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/fox-in-hen-house-12-steps-of-animal-rights/
We have wondered for years how the egg farm people would handle HSUS. Well, we are pleased to see that although they may have tried to work with HSUS (not a good idea), they are at least now taking other steps to fix what has already occurred. It may not be too late. congressman Steve King of Iowa, has added a provision to the Farm Bill known as PICA ,(Protect Interstate Commerce Act) which would stop states from entering into trade protectionism by forcing cost prohibitive production methods on farmers in other states. See this link with VIDEO and plain English on interstate commerce issue:
The egg group’s complaint is quite interesting, because DUE PROCESS is cited as one reason that Prop 2 “does not provide fair notice of unlawful criminal conduct”, and since prosecutors throughout the state exercise prosecutorial discretion over the meaning of Prop 2, enforcement of the statutes will be arbitrary and inconsistent.”
Also, Plaintiffs cite the vagueness of Prop 2 is demonstrated where HSUS has described Prop 2 as meaning “cage free” while knowing that Prop 2 language obviously anticipates caging. It seems that proposed “National Legislation” that HSUS and the Association of California Egg Farmes (ACEF) were working on, to get federal legislation mandated on issues of same topic, the parties agreed the 116 square inches per hen would be consistent with Prop 2, but NOW, HSUS claims Prop 2 requires 200 sq. inches. [PD note: We know better than to trust HSUS, especially when you are “working with” them. You cannot reasonably work with Animal Rights because ARs are not reasonable. That is why they ARE ARs– they are not reasonable, they are extreme.]
Then, amazingly, the complaint sets forth the VERY issue that we just posted on this site–wherein Federal judge from Los Angeles stated it would be “easy” to determine the diameters of the cage or enclosures, because the hens need to just turn around and be able to spread wings and limbs. Like we stated, because no determination was used with any actual data being put into the law itself as to minimums to be used, HSUS could easily require almost ANY size to be mandated since there is no size delineated in the drafted law. [PD note: We actually believe that HSUS expected the egg farmers to find this so difficult, they would give up and just use cage free to get out of figuring it out. NOT happening!]
Noted on pg. 14 of the complaint, ln 1-7, it states: “However it is not commercially reasonable or practical for California commercial egg farmers to house hens in single hen enclosures. In attempting to determine the required enclosure space for multi-hen enclosures, Dr. Joy Mench (expert on hen behavior and animal welfare), described the vagueness of Proposition 2 as follows:
“Extrapolating beyond these implications to derive a minimum cage space recommendation is very difficult because of the lack of clarity of the Proposition with respect to how many hens need to be able to simultaneously perform the particular behavior(s) listed.” It further states that the greater number of hens that must be able to simultaneously perform the prescribed behaviors (turn, spread wings, stretch limbs, not hit side of enclosure,etc), the more space per hen an enclosure must provide. Because this is impossible to determine with certainty (the enclosure space and density requirements for multi hen caging) it renders Prop 2 as unconstitutionally vague.
The complaint also points out the phrase which relies upon the undefined word “prevent.” There is ambiguity regarding what it means to “prevent” a hen from “spreading both wings without touching the side of an enclosure or another egg laying hen.” Further, it is alleged that egg farmers cannot control the behaviors of the hens inside the enclosures…hens in a cage may cluster around one of the hens (as hens tend to do) and thereby prevent that hen from spreading her wings for all or a majority of a day without touching the sides of the enclosure or another hen. If that occurs, has the egg farmer “prevented” the hen from performing the prescribed behaviors?
Clearly, Petdefense saw these issues because we know what chickens do, and we know how HSUS likes to try and play hide the ball. We wonder what would happen if a giant enclosure was used, and the hens all huddled in ONE corner and pecked each other to death because they didn’t like the huge cage? Just because hens have more space does NOT mean they will just use the space. In fact, hens have their own heirarchy and most laying hens are cross bred birds, based on thriftiness for food, and more egg laying per bird. They are not necessarily friendly and can be flighty. HSUS, not being animal husbandry people at all, simply superimpose HSUS desire onto animals. It’s that simple. HSUS thinks the animals are better off if they can run around with more space. They could care less about safety, but will use safety only when it suits their own cases, such as saying free range hens have “safer” eggs. Good luck proving that one.
An even more ridiculous element was pointed out on pg. 15 of the complaint, where the Plaintiffs note that some egg farmers have more than 1,000,000(one million) hens…if the facility was in violation of Prop 2, the owner/workers could be found to have committed 1,000,000 violations of Prop 2, leading to a fine of $1,000,000,000.00 and 500,000 years in jail? And if each day the enclosures were used constituted separate violations, it would compound the punishment. Plaintiffs state that they would likely close their farms rather than bear the risk of losing it all to the law’s failures as written.
Plaintiff’s prayer for relief include a request that the court declare Prop 2 impermissibly vague, in violation of the CA Constitution; enter preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting the enforcement of the code (CA Health and Safety Sections 25990-25994), reasonable attorneys’ fees/costs to extent permitted by law, including CCP 1021.5. 1021.5 is the CA Private Attorney General Doctrine. [Eligibility for attorney fees under Section 1021.5 is established when the plaintiffs’ action has resulted in the enforcement of an important right “affecting the public interest.”]
Courts note that to justify fees, a significant benefit has been conferred on the general public. As we have seen in the past, Nathan Winograd and Kate Neiswender have obtained such fees for bringing actions against shelters which did not do their jobs, refused to allow rescues to take animals, and allowed animals to become ill in the shelter while others would languish in the shelter due to untreated illness.
What we know about the HSUS is that HSUS will surely take any cage paramenters, and then morph them to the point that after so much time goes by, the CAGES must be ELIMINATED. Mark our words, we know how HSUS plays this game. ALL laws by HSUS are simply STEPS in progression to GETTING RID OF WHATEVER.
This is proven by past HSUS conduct. Get rid of breeding, get rid of buying and selling animals, get rid of food that isn’t vegan, get rid of farmers, get rid of food processed BY farmers, get rid of fishing, hunting, get rid of the Pet Trade, get rid of everything on the 12 Steps of Animal Rights. Get rid of animal welfare under Agriculture jurisdiction. You will not find ONE HSUS law that just stands alone– successive laws are always made to morph the law to new heights. City, state, then Federal. Local, county, then State. State, more states, then nationwide application, then world wide.
This has always been the plan, it is the plan, and the plan never, never stops. The only way it will EVER slow down is to have more $$ and more political clout to beat HSUS down. We are not idiots. Many pet and animal enterprises are SITTING ducks for HSUS targets. Simply memorize the 12 Steps of Animal Rights and those ARE the TARGETS of HSUS—- it is not new. Unfortunately, $$$ can solve the problem of HSUS’ credibility. When 90% of people know HSUS is nothing but AR liars with their AR campaign to take down X Y Z, then HSUS will be on same foot as PETA– no credibility. It will take years, but is is possible to see it happening. We give Humanewatch.org credit and don’t care if they are linked to the food industry. No one forces anyone to buy any particular type of food but the Animal rights. Maybe we could use a little less high fructose corn syrup. Just sayin’.