Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a law last Friday that will require eggs sold in the state, whether they come from commercial flocks in Oregon or are produced elsewhere, to come from cage-free hens beginning in 2024. California and Washington State already have similar laws.
California's Prop 12, which prohibits the sale of eggs in the state from chickens housed in battery cages, along with the arrival of the first viable egg substitutes, amounts to a one-two punch that could mark the beginning of the end of the industrial egg, writes Rowan Jacobsen in FERN's latest story, published with New Food Economy. (No paywall)
In a surprising amicus brief, the Justice Department last week recommended that the Supreme Court not hear Missouri’s challenge to California’s animal-welfare laws, which mandate larger cages for some farm animals. The stance could bode well for animal-welfare advocates fighting for similar legislation in other states.
California’s animal welfare regulations, among the strictest in the nation, have spawned a series of court challenges. This week, those regulations became part of the farm bill debate. No paywall
A CoBank economist, Trevor Amen, says demand for eggs produced by cage-free hens will remain depressed for several months because a flood of conventionally produced eggs is available, reports Feedstuffs.
Animal welfare activists, led by the Humane Society of the United States, have filed papers in California to introduce an initiative that would make all eggs cage-free in the state by 2022.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the landmark California law that says table eggs shipped into the state for sale must come from farms that give chickens enough room to stand, turn around, and fully extend their wings.
Although some 70 percent of U.S. egg production will come from cage-free hens in 2025 to meet food industry commitments, the market for cage-free eggs is thin at the moment, says United Egg Producers
Half-a-dozen farm, retail and agribusiness groups say a voter initiative in Massachusetts on animal welfare will drive up production costs and equate to an indirect food tax. The proposal, which had more than 2-to-1 support in a recent opinion poll, would end the use of sow crates, veal calf stalls and battery cages for egg-laying hens.
One result of the USDA's proposed livestock-welfare rule for organic farmers would be the eventual end of confinement-style egg production, because it says poultry must be given access to outdoor yards. A powerhouse group of 13 senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the leaders of the Agriculture Committee says the rule could affect egg prices at the grocery store and drive up costs for producers.