American Humane Certified, the farm animal welfare program of the American Humane Association, said it will accept enriched colony housing systems as humane for commercial laying hens. The decision gives egg producers an option, in addition to cage-free housing, to conventional confinement cages, banned in California and Michigan.

The group said it will not certify conventional cages, but found after scientific review that enhanced colony housing is acceptable, in part because the system provides nesting boxes and perches, in addition to other enrichments, which allow hens to exhibit natural behaviors.