By Associated Press
August 6, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A proposal to make caging pregnant pigs unconstitutional in Florida qualified for the November ballot after what was thought to be the nation's first such petition drive.
Floridians for Humane Farms reached the required 488,722 certified signatures on Monday, according to the Division of Elections.
The amendment would phase out the use of 2-foot by 7-foot metal cages to confine sows during pregnancy, as well as tight tethers.
"It's no surprise that packing animals in small metal cages for months at a time leads to enormous suffering and emotional frustration," said Wayne Pacelle, a senior vice president of The Humane Society of the United States, which cosponsored the petition drive.
No state currently bans the technique, Pacelle said.
Florida is 30th in the nation in hog production, far behind leaders like Iowa, North Carolina and Minnesota, and only a few swine producers in the state are known to confine pregnant pigs in crates.
The petition drive was the first of its kind in the country, Pacelle said.