California ballot proposal aims to prevent cruelty to chickens California ballot proposal aims to prevent cruelty to chickens | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press SAN JOSE, Calif. Californias Proposition 2 would give chickens enough room to flap their wings. The initiative, called the Prevention of Farm Animals Cruelty Act, says animals must be able to lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs and turn around freely. Sponsored by The Humane Society, it would require increased space for every animal housed in poultry facilities, sow gestation pens and veal crates by 2015. Opponents warn that it would boost production costs, leading to egg outsourcing and a further decline in Californias agricultural economy. Prop. 2 would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue and a statewide loss of 5,750 jobs. Supporters refute the flap, citing a 2005 UC Riverside study by poultry specialist Don Bell that predicts that increased production costs to egg farmers would be small about 12 to 28 cents a dozen. Its a scare tactic, a threat, said Geri Spieler of Palo Alto, who keeps eight chickens in her backyard and plans to vote for Prop. 2. There are always arguments against doing something that changes business as usual. Supporters, which include many vets, the Consumer Federation of America, the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and the Union of Concerned Scientists, say its time for California to adopt basic standards of humane confinement. UC-Davis veterinarian Kate Hurley said chickens are confined so tightly in a wire cage, they cant walk a few steps forward. They cant dust bathe. They cant scratch or forage. They cant nest. If one bird is aggressive, they cant move away. Adds Palo Altos Spieler: They are not mindless creatures. They know what is going on. They love to climb up on things and balance on branches. They are playful. If theyre allowed to be free, you can see how happy they are. Supporters add that Prop. 2 is good for human health, too arguing cramming tens of thousands of animals into tiny cages is what fosters disease. If you are against this, then you don't really care about life.