In the United States farm animals have no national (federal) law to protect their welfare, apart from a slaughter law - and that does not apply to poultry. Leading groups like the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) have been hugely successful in achieving state-by-state bans on some of the most horrendous factory farming systems. Bans on sow stalls (where the pregnant sow is confined and unable to turn round), veal crates (where calves are kept unable to turn round,) and battery cages for laying hens have all been achieved in a variety of states.
Between 2002-2009 the following states have voted to ban sow stalls: Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California and Maine. Veal crates are being banned in Arizona, Colorado, California and Maine and battery cages will also be banned in California.
Compassion in World Farming has signed up to support a new campaign, organised by Ohioans for Humane Farms, to change the law in the state of Ohio. If successful, this new law would end battery cages, veal crates and sow stalls in Ohio, would prevent "downer" cows, who are too ill to walk, from being dragged into slaughterhouses and would require their swift euthanasia and would also require any sick animals, who have to be euthanized on the farm, to be killed humanely.
If you have friends or relatives living in Ohio, do please encourage them to support this initiative by visiting www.ohiohumane.com. They are hoping to get the law put to citizens' vote in the state elections. To do that, they must first gather 600,000 citizens' signatures. If you live elsewhere you can give online support and become a "Friend" of the group.