U.S. bill would help suffering laying hens 

It was disappointing to see The San Francisco Examiner side with the big pork and cattle lobby in opposing U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s important pro-animal welfare amendment to the Farm Bill (“Bill’s defeat a win for animal welfare,” Monday).

One reason every animal protection group that spearheaded California’s 2008 Proposition 2 campaign supports Feinstein’s bill is because most big egg-production states are unlikely to enact legislation to protect their egg-laying hens, meaning a national standard is likely the only way to offer hundreds of millions of laying hens some type of relief. Also, the bill has a provision respecting the 2015 timeline for California egg producers that’s set forth in Prop. 2.

Californians should be proud that we led the way in passing Prop. 2 to make this important national bill possible.

Feinstein’s bill is opposed by the pork and beef trade groups because they oppose any legal protection for farm animals from abuse, while it’s supported by all of the major animal protection groups in the U.S., the egg industry, veterinary groups, consumer groups and others.

Congress should enact this important legislation, which will be a big advancement for huge numbers of laying hens all across the country.

Jennifer Fearing

Campaign manager for Proposition 2,
Senior California state director, The Humane Society of the United States

Leave valley under water

After visiting Yosemite Valley a few times, I have become convinced that Hetch Hetchy Valley is best protected from the ravages of humankind by being protected underneath billions of gallons of Tuolumne River water (“A valley drowns, a city thrives,” Monday).

If drained, it would take humans just under a year to build roads, parking lots, concession stands, toilets, lodges, campgrounds and restaurants so that millions of tourists could throw garbage, litter and vehicle exhaust everywhere.

Hetch Hetchy dam supplies San Francisco with green, pollution-free electricity to help power our electric Muni vehicles, our public schools, the airport, our government buildings and recreation centers. Tear the dam down, and we would have to build fossil-fuel power plants and filtration plants, and flood other locations to store water for the five counties and 2.5 million people who thrive on the pristine mountain waters.

Respect the Hetch Hetchy Valley — keep it inaccessible to humans, please.

Peter Vaernet, San Francisco

Water storage still needed

The article in Monday’s paper about the proposed dismantling of the O’Shaughnessy Dam and the restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley was, in my opinion, disingenuous at best.

The idea has some merit, as there are only so many wild sites such as this left for people to enjoy. But (and this is a big but) I have not heard of any proposals to build water storage facilities of equal or larger capacity before the Hetch Hetchy dam is dismantled.

It would seem to me that if the proposal to tear the dam out included a mandate that new storage facilities of equal capacity are built first, the whole situation would be amenable to a larger portion of the public.

There is no doubt that San Francisco and the surrounding communities depend on a supply of good water that is getting harder to obtain, but a little common sense and reason should prevail.

Mike Sullivan, Millbrae

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