Chad Gregory, president, United Egg Producers (UEP), announced on February 14 that UEP no longer will seek passage of the national hen housing and welfare legislation known as the Egg Bill.
In a statement to UEP members, Gregory said: "Members should feel proud of the tremendous efforts over the past two years with our endeavors to pass the Egg Bill. With the farm bill now concluded, UEP can confirm that it has ceased efforts to pass the Egg Bill. UEP is now focused on exploring a range of options with the objective of delivering much-needed business certainty to America's egg farmers."
"Enriched colony housing represents the future of this vibrant industry and we are encouraged to see these contemporary houses being constructed throughout the United States. We remain dedicated to partnering with members, allies and other stakeholders in hope of achieving a workable solution of transitioning the industry towards enriched colony facilities in a manner and timeframe that best suits our egg farmer members."
Gregory also said UEP and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have agreed not to extend their memorandum of understanding (MOU) or any formal connection that existed up until now. The end of the MOU doesn't mean that UEP and HSUS will quit talking, Gregory said. He said that UEP will continue to work with all stakeholders, including HSUS, to find common ground.
Production of eggs for the California market after the implementation of Proposition 2 on January 1, 2015, continues to concern Gregory. He said the uncertainty over the outcome of the Missouri attorney general's lawsuit and other possible litigation leaves egg producers guessing as to what type of housing and housing density will be acceptable to the marketplace and the courts. This uncertainty increases the prospect of egg shortages in California next year.