Animal-rights groups have submitted more than 218,000 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State to get on this November’s ballot an initiative to ban gestation crates for pregnant pigs and veal crates. The secretary still must confirm that the signatures are from registered voters of the state, but only 122,612 valid names were needed to place the initiative on the ballot. If approved by Arizona voters, the ban would take effect at the end of 2012. The ballot initiative effort is funded by organizations such as the Humane Society of the U.S. and Farm Sanctuary.

Arizona livestock producers are fighting back, with the Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers, a broad coalition that includes the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, Arizona Cattlemen's Association, United Dairymen of Arizona and the Arizona Pork Council, working to educate Arizona voters about the motives of the animal-rights groups — which is to end animal agriculture in America.

The campaign also points out that Arizona is only the latest battleground. The animal-rights activists passed a similar ballot initiative in Florida in 2002. Shortly after that success, Farm Sanctuary said: "The Florida victory will lead to similar reforms across the nation."

For more information about the Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers, visit http://www.azfarmersranchers.com/.

NPPC, Porkmag.com