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The United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States have partnered to work toward the enactment of federal legislation that would set national standards for hens involved in U.S. egg production. The proposed standards, if enacted, would be the first federal law addressing the treatment of animals on farms.
The proposed legislation would:
The two groups will jointly ask Congress for federal legislation which would require egg producers to increase space per bird in a tiered phase-in, with the amount of space birds are given increasing, in intervals, over the next 15 to 18 years. Currently, the majority of birds are each provided 67 square inches of space, with roughly 50 million receiving 48 square inches. The proposed phase-in would culminate with hens nationwide being provided a minimum of 124–144 square inches of space, along with the other improvements noted.
If passed by Congress, the legislation would supersede state laws including those that have already been passed in Arizona, California (Proposition 2), Michigan and Ohio. The agreement to pass comprehensive federal legislation for standards of egg production puts a hold on planned ballot measures related to egg-laying hens in both Washington and Oregon.
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