The Michigan Senate approved a bill that sets new standards for animal housing and aligns the state’s family egg farmers with national cage-free egg standards by 2025.

Sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley, R-Lum, Senate Bill 174 was approved by the full Senate and will be sent to the Michigan House of Representatives.

The move drew the applause from the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries (MAPI).

“This leadership between industry and advocacy is happening in Michigan and will make us the largest egg-producing state to mandate cage-free housing standards for egg-laying hens,” said Allison Brink, executive director of MAPI. “This positive step provides for the vitality of hens and Michigan’s egg market.”

Michigan’s family egg farmers care deeply about their hens, MAPI said in a press release. Michigan is home to more than 15 million egg-laying hens, and the state currently ranks sixth in the nation in egg production, which makes this legislation vitally important to the future of farming, MAPI said.

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Hundreds of companies made national commitments with the Humane Society of the United States, promising to sell only cage-free eggs by 2025, including dozens that do business in Michigan. In response, farmers are investing millions to build new, cage-free hen houses, and are proactively working to complete the transition, the organization explained. 

8.5 million Michigan hens are currently living in cage-free houses, which is approximately 56 percent of its total egg-laying hen population. Another million (6 percent) will live in cage-free laying systems by the end of 2020.

If the bill is passed and signed into law, Michigan would be the largest egg-producing state in the nation to adopt a cage-free requirement. Other states to adopt such laws include California, Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island.

“By passing SB 174, Michigan’s $655 million dollar egg-growing sector, and the other family farms who support it will thrive,” added Brink. We urge the Michigan House to quickly take up and pass this bill to cement Michigan’s position as a leader in cage-free eggs.”