To the editor of THE EAGLE:

As a leader of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau, I hope letter writer Charles Proctor (May 21) looks further into the bill H.1456/S, which would prevent cruelty to farm animals, and what it contains.

This modest proposal before our Legislature would prohibit one of the most cruel farming practices in existence, which is alive and well here. What he did not mention is currently there are 3,000 egg-laying hens confined in what are called "battery cages" in Massachusetts. These cages are so small the birds are unable to flap their wings for their entire lives. They have less space than an iPad screen on which to live, day in, day out. These cages are so cruel that the European Union and several U.S. states have outlawed them.

Major food companies, like Burger King and Hellmann's, recognize that good animal welfare is good for business, so they've decided to stop using eggs from these cruel systems. The bill would also prohibit similar systems for pregnant pigs and calves raised for veal.

Not only is this bill good for animal welfare, which is why 210 Massachusetts veterinarians support it, but 42 Massachusetts farms support it as well. They know that it'll make consumers feel safe that local meat and eggs didn't come from facilities that intensively confine their animals. It's a win-win-win: for animals, consumers, and farmers.

Please contact your representative and ask him/her to support H.1456 to make sure these cruel confinement systems stay out of Massachusetts. You can look up your representative and their contact information at http://humanesociety.org/stateleglookup

AMY BOOTH

Pittsfield