The new US Senate bill amendment that would double the cage space for egg-laying hens on factory farms is getting some negative feedback from both the factory farming side and some animal-welfare groups.
Food Safety News quoted the Humane Farming Association as calling it the “rotten egg bill.” The Humane Farming Association is an anti-factory farming group out of California. Its members fear the legislation might “deprive states of the right to enforce anti-cruelty laws which prohibit battery cages.”
The amendment is the result of an agreement between the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States. If passed “enriched colony housing” would be phased in, doubling the space for each hen.
On the other side, the pork, beef and poultry industry are opposed to the new regulations, using the old slippery-slope argument. Some representatives have expressed fear that improving the housing for egg-laying hens could lead to more humane housing for other animals on factory farms.
We can only hope, can’t we. I’d hate to be on the side speaking out against more humane practices from the factory farming industry. So for that side, less suffering is a bad thing?
Food Safety News reports the amendment is backed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Mercy for Animals, Farm Sanctuary and the National Consumers League.
As I’ve stated in other posts, this latest amendment is a good first step. But the hens ultimately need more than double the space they currently live in. And I’m sure a lot of caring consumers like me would be more than willing to pay more for eggs we knew came from hens who lived under humane conditions.