Election Day marked several wins for animals and the environment as a number of state ballot measures were approved by voters.
In Florida, voters approved a measure that will ban greyhound racing and close down nearly a dozen tracks in the state by 2020. There are 17 tracks remaining in the U.S, and Florida has a majority of them. Commercial dog racing is illegal in 40 states and tracks where they were allowed, such as Connecticut, Kansas, Oregon and Wisconsin have shuttered. The measure to ban the tracks was approved by a two-thirds majority of voters.
Floridians also approved a ban on oil and gas drilling in state-owned waters, a move that rebuked the Trump administration’s move to open nearly all U.S. offshore waters to drilling.
In Connecticut, where Friends of Animals is headquartered, we are cheering the passage of a ballot measure for a constitutional amendment that will protect state-owned land. The measure requires lawmakers to conduct public hearings and special votes when public lands are going to be sold, transferred or given away. The constitutional amendment was overwhelmingly approved with more than 170,000 votes.
In Nevada, state electric providers will be required to generate 50 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2030.
While we are cheering the passage of those measures, we are jeering approval of a ballot measure in North Carolina that will protect hunting and fishing in the state – at a time when the number of hunters has declined.
In California, we are also jeering the approval of the deceptive Proposition 12, which was billed by the egg industry and HSUS as providing protections for hens but in reality provides no relief to chickens, pigs or other farm animals. The measure, opposed by Friends of Animals and Humane Farming Association, gives each hen only one square foot of space, incentivizes the construction of multi-level egg factories and legalizes the use of egg-factory battery cages until at least 2022.
“It is a sad day for farm animals and those who care about their mistreatment,” HFA said in a statement Wednesday. “Far from improving conditions on factory farms, egg laying hens that were in cages before Prop 12 will remain suffering in cages.” (See HFA’s full statement here.)