The Michigan House of Representatives, by a 79-29 vote, has approved legislation that would postpone the effective date of a previously passed law that would require that all eggs produced in the state come from cage-free laying systems.

The 2009 law that created and phased in new standards for cage-free housing for certain animals would have been effective October 12, 2019. However, Senate Bill 660, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, would change that deadline, requiring cage-free chicken housing to begin Oct. 12, 2025.

The bill also extends the deadline for the removal of gestation stalls for sows from October 12, 2019 to April 1, 2020.

That bill has now gained the approval from the state’s Senate and House, but now awaits the signature of Gov. Rick Snyder, according to a report from MLive.

If Snyder signs SB 660 into law, it would also insert new language stating, “The legislature finds that eggs derived from egg-laying hens that are exposed to significant stress may result in deleterious effects on the health, safety, and welfare of consumers such as increased exposure to disease pathogens, including Salmonella, and have negative fiscal impacts on this state.”

The bill has been passed despite efforts from National Egg Farmers to educate the Michigan lawmakers of the drawbacks of mandating all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free layers. In February, the organization wrote to all Michigan legislators explaining why transitioning to a 100 percent cage-free egg industry in the state will not meet goals involving animal welfare, sustainability, food safety and food security as they have been led to believe.

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