Charlie Baker plans to vote yes on Question 3, Massachusetts’s farm animal protection ballot measure

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. –Elise Amendola / AP

When Gov. Charlie Baker fills out his ballot Tuesday, he will vote to make cage-free eggs the law of the land in Massachusetts.

According to spokesman Billy Pitman, the Massachusetts governor plans to vote yes on Question 3, a ballot initiative that would ban certain restrictive means of confining farm animals in the state.

In September, Baker had told reporters he was undecided how he would vote on the measure, but was “quite sympathetic” to the argument being made by supporters.

“While I worry a little bit about what that might mean to the cost of eggs for people here in the commonwealth, I am quite sympathetic to the perspective that is being offered by the Yes on Question 3 people,” the governor said, according to Politico Massachusetts, adding that he wished he knew more about the financial consequences.

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While Question 3 would ban the production and sale of non-cage-free eggs in Massachusetts, it is not only about chickens.

According to the language of the proposal, it would “prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely.” Question 3 would also ban the sale of any produce from animals confined in such a manner.

Polling on Massachusetts’s ballot questions show that voters support the proposal at a rate of more than 2-to-1.

Question 3 supporters, which include the MSPCA, Animal Rescue League of Boston, The Humane Society of the United States, say the bill is necessary to prevent animal cruelty and reduce food safety risks. Opponents, however, say that Question 3 would increase food prices and disproportionately harm lower-income families.

Ever the animal advocate, Baker recently signed a bill banning people from leaving their pets in dangerously hot cars.

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