The bill will require egg producers to essentially double the space allotted per hen and make other important animal welfare improvements during a tiered phase-in period. The legislation is supported by The Humane Society of the United States, United Egg Producers, American Veterinary Medical Association, ASPCA, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumers League, state poultry and egg associations, and hundreds of family farmers.
H.R. 3798, the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, would:
-Require conventional cages to be replaced during an ample phase-in period with new, enriched colony housing systems that provide each egg-laying hen nearly double the amount of current space;
-Require that, after a phase-in period, all egg-laying hens be provided with environmental enrichments, such as perches, nesting boxes and scratching areas, that will allow hens to express natural behaviors;
-Require labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs—“eggs from caged hens,” “eggs from hens in enriched cages,” “eggs from cage-free hens” and “eggs from free-range hens”;
-Prohibit feed- or water-withdrawal molting to extend the laying cycle, a practice already prohibited by the United Egg Producers Certified program;
-Require standards approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia of egg-laying hens;
-Prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses; and
-Prohibit the transport and sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these requirements.
You can find more information about this bill here.
While our country is divided on many issues, here is an opportunity to bridge a divide and ratify an agreement between the egg industry and animal welfare advocates, with no cost to the federal government. Please help support and pass this important policy for egg farmers, consumers, and animal welfare.
The bill is led by a bipartisan coalition of legislators -- Reps. Kurt Schrader, Jeff Denham, Elton Gallegly, and Sam Farr. I hope you will become a co-sponsor of H.R. 3798, and that the Senate will support this important legislation as well. Thank you.