UPC has joined AVAR, VivaUSA, Farm Sanctuary, IDA, GourmetCruelty.com, the Animal Protection and Rescue League and other organizations that are promoting the passage of CA Assembly Bill 1520, the bill to ban the sale and production of foie gras in California. Here is why we support this bill and urge its passage into law:
1) The bill if enacted will abolish a farmed animal abuse. The fact that there will be a phase-in period is not a reason to oppose this bill. We have applauded the banning of battery-hen cages in the European Union and in Austria, and the banning of sow gestation crates in Florida, but all of this important legislation for farmed animals includes phase-in periods. No one who supports farmed animal protective legislation wants to wait for the law to take effect, but that is now how the legislative process works. Yes, the foie gras industry is going to use the time to try to overturn the law and do other nefarious things, but this means that our public education work is cut out for us. Given the facts of foie gras production and the videotaping of the procedure that we have ( Delicacy of Despair ), it seems unlikely that the public is going to be persuaded to abandon the ducks and oppose a ban on foie gras production and sale in California.
2) In all negotiations - legislative, union, etc. - in which there is a conflict of interest, you lay out the full store of what you want in the hope of retaining as much of that as possible in what you end up with. You hope to get at least half of what you originally wanted and plan ultimately to obtain. Even groups that seem to get all they want, like the NRA, do not. Even they end up with a compromise, that being the nature of the legislative process. But once you have the legislation on the books, you can amend it upward to bring it closer to what you set out to achieve, with the understanding that you were unlikely to get it all at once.
3) Those groups who actively oppose SB 1520 could lobby at state and federal levels to try to enact legislation that would ban foie gras production/sale immediately, but they are not doing so. Instead, they are obstructing the passage of this bill while offering no real alternative, just bashing the bill and the groups that have worked so hard to get the bill introduced and to retain as much of the original intent of the bill as possible.
United Poultry Concerns urges activists to support SB 1520 and to refuse to reject this opportunity in pursuit of a purist fantasy. The objections being raised against SB 1520 are unrealistic given the realities of the legislative process and the enormous obstacles that farmed animals have traditionally faced legislatively. Sabotaging this bill is going to hurt the ducks, not help them.
Please support SB 1520. Urge Governor Schwarzenegger to sign it into law:
The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento CA 95814