Big News! Michigan Bans Veal Crates, Gestation Crates and Battery Cages; California Outlaws Tail Docking

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It was a historic day for farmed animals from coast-to-coast, with two major pieces of pro-animal legislation being signed into law.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a landmark bill that will extend modest, yet meaningful, protections to farmed animals in the state. A result of extensive negotiations between humane and agricultural groups, the law requires that certain farmed animals have enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs, rather than being confined in tiny cages.

The new law phases out veal crates for calves within three years, and battery cages for laying hens and gestation crates for breeding sows within ten years.

Michigan becomes the seventh state to ban gestation crates, the fifth to ban veal crates, and the second to ban battery cages. Arizona, California and Florida have passed similar measures through ballot initiatives, and Maine, Colorado and Oregon have passed related laws in their state legislatures.

In California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed landmark legislation prohibiting tail docking, a common and cruel mutilation of dairy cows--in the nation's top dairy state.

The new law takes effect on January 1, 2010. Introduced in February by California Senate Majority Leader, Dean Florez, Senate Bill 135 outlaws the painful and unnecessary tail docking of dairy cows.