Bishop Marc Supports California Ballot Initiative to Improve Lives of Factory-Farmed Animals

click to view videoSAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 9, 2008)—The Right Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, has endorsed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, a historic California ballot initiative that will greatly improve the lives of millions of farm animals.

Andrus presides over 27,000 Episcopalians in the Californian dioceses, which includes San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. He gave his support for the initiative during a recent interview with The Humane Society of the United States.

"The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act is a modest but important measure that will simply give veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens enough room to engage in basic movements,” Andrus said.  “God entrusts animals to our care. Denying them the ability even to turn around is surely not an example of faithful stewardship."

Californians for Humane Farms, supported by The HSUS, Farm Sanctuary and other animal protection groups, family farmers, veterinarians and public health professionals, is gathering signatures to place the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act on the November 2008 ballot. The measure prevent some of the worst factory farming abuses such as keeping animals confined in small crates or cages—specifically, veal crates for calves, battery cages for egg-laying hens, and gestation crates for breeding pigs.

“Bishop Andrus’ endorsement is certain to inspire Episcopalians to take notice of this measure, which all people of faith can support on the basis of compassion and mercy towards all creatures,” said Christine Gutleben, director of Animals & Religion for The HSUS.

Last year, San Francisco was ranked America’s most humane large metropolitan area, according to a study called the Humane Index, released by The HSUS.

For more information, visit humanesociety.org/religion and humanecalifornia.org.