Currently, at least 92 percent of egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in barren battery cages so small the animals can't even spread their wings. Of these birds, about 210 million are provided 67 square inches of space and 50 million are provided with even less space than that meager amount (typically 48 square inches). In July 2011, The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers reached a historic agreement whereby both organizations will support—and work together toward enactment of—federal legislation to afford certain protections to all U.S. egg laying hens. If enacted, this would be the first federal law relating to chickens used for food, as well as the first federal law relating to the on-farm treatment of any species of farm animal.
I'm writing to urge you to support federal legislation to phase out the use of barren battery cages -- small, cramped cages that nearly immobilize more than 90 percent of laying hens today.
It's important to me that the 280 million hens used each year in U.S. egg production get more humane treatment. The legislation should also require labeling so that consumers will be able to make informed choices, and should end the cruel practice of forced molting, in which hens are starved for up to two weeks in order to make them lay more eggs.
I hope comprehensive legislation will be enacted soon to provide more humane standards for laying hens. Thank you for your consideration.
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