Chad Gregory, president and CEO, United Egg Producers, reported at the cooperative's board meeting held in conjunction with IPPE in Atlanta, that representatives from United Egg Producers, California egg producers and the Humane Society of the United States met in mid-January to look at the language of the 2012 Egg Bill and update it for 2013. He said that an agreement in principle was reached on a couple of items.
Gregory said that the requirement that ammonia levels in the layer house be kept at 25 parts per million or less was retained, but the overall language of the Egg Bill was changed so that "temporary excesses of ammonia will not constitute a violation of the act." This new agreement between United Egg Producers and HSUS will be in effect until September 30, 2013.
The United Egg Producers and HSUS worked together in an effort to secure passage of H.R. 3798, the Egg Bill, as an amendment to the Farm Bill in 2012. This effort failed, partly because the Farm Bill was never voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The agreement between United Egg Producers and HSUS to seek passage of the Egg Bill was signed in July of 2011. The original expiration date for the agreement has come and gone and the agreement has already been extended a couple of times.
Researchers and primary breeders have raised the need for more exemptions from the Egg Bill. In the 2012 version of the Egg Bill, the only exemption included was for farms with fewer than 3,000 layers. In the 2013 version, Gregory said that exemptions would be added for primary breeders and research facilities.
Unfortunately, Gregory said the HSUS would not consider revising any of the dates pertaining to implementation in California, where Proposition 2 has a January 1, 2015, compliance date.