Bill would hinder animal-rights activists' attempts to outlaw cages
ATLANTA -- Cities and counties would be prohibited from regulating the production of agricultural products produced on parcels of 5 acres or greater under legislation introduced Tuesday.
Rep. Tom McCall, R-Elberton, said he introduced House Bill 529 to forestall a movement that began in California to prohibit confinement of animals, such as chickens, hogs and calves used in veal.
Asked if he was prompted by a specific incident, McCall said, "If you look at what California did with Proposition 2 and the problems that has caused out there, maybe yes."
Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, is a cosponsor of HB 529.
"Basically, we're saying that local government can't come in and say you can't farm if you have (more) than 5 acres," England said. "California has been doing some crazy things similar to that."
California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2 in November which opponents predict will raise food prices and prompt every egg producer to leave the state. Georgia is among the top states in egg production and is No. 1 in broilers.
McCall's bill, pending in the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee he chairs, would force animal-rights advocates to convince the General Assembly for a statewide prohibition against caging food animals rather than passing ordinances in sympathetic cities or counties around the state. Animal-