Other environmental groups looked for lawmakers to sign on to a bill that protects farm animals from being kept in confined cages where they cannot move. Farmers caught keeping hens, pigs or calves in confined cages would be penalized under the bill. House lawmakers approved similar legislation last August, but it failed to make it to final passage.
Animal rights activists said the legislation eliminates the possibility for the “most notorious” factory farming confinement practices that are cruel and harmful to animals. Across the U.S., millions of mother pigs, baby calves and egg-laying hens are immobilized in cages for the duration of their lives, according to officials from the Massachusetts chapter of the Humane Society of the United States.
Rep. Jason Lewis, who sponsored the legislation last session, said last August after it passed in the House that it would prevent large-scale factory farms from moving into Massachusetts, thus protecting smaller family farms that don’t typically use these farming techniques.