Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Milton Marks of San Francisco revived legislation Wednesday to outlaw allegedly inhumane conditions employed in the production of so-called “milk-fed” veal.
Under practices used by about 15% of California veal ranchers, calves are kept chained in 22-inch “veal crates” that are too small for the animals to turn around or lie down in comfortably.
The bill, which would ban use of the small crates, is a duplicate of one carried last year by Assemblyman Tom Bates (D-Oakland), which was killed in the Assembly Agriculture Committee. The measure was heavily opposed by ranching interests. Although it passed the Senate and Assembly, it was sent at the last moment back to committee. Rather than voting on the bill, a majority of the committee members walked out.
Bradley Miller, director of the Humane Farming Assn., which is sponsoring the bill, said the committee members “didn’t have the courage to face their constituents. . . .”
“Once they got their hands on it, they killed it,” he said.