New federal legislation could bring humane treatment to chickens and farm animals

American consumers generally has no idea where their food comes from or how the farm animals it comes from are treated.

It would shock most to know that of the 180 million laying hens that produce our eggs, tens of millions are starved for up to two weeks in order to force them to molt, ensuring that they’ll continue to lay eggs. Or that more than ninety percent of hens are kept almost immobilized in small, cramped, bare “battery” wire cages that are stacked on top of each other and contain no room to move, scratch or anywhere comfortable to nest.

United Egg Producers have agreed to support national legislation to improve the lives of industrial farm chickens

Today, the Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society announced that the United Egg Producers have agreed to support what would become the first national law to vastly improve the welfare and treatment of chickens used for food.

This would also be the first federal law relating to the treatment of animals while on factory farms, and the first farmed animal protection legislation in more than 30 years.

The provisions of the pending legislation would include:

  • birds having at least 67 square inches of space (versus the 48 they now have). That’s a change to over 5.5 square feet from 3.9 square feet!
  • mandatory labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as “eggs from caged hens” or “eggs from cage-free hens.”

Some provisions would be implemented immediately while others would be phased in.

“This deal represents a major victory for farmed animals,” explains Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary’s president and co-founder. “We are proud of our significant part in making this legislation a reality, and we salute the hard work of animal protection advocates nationwide who worked so hard on behalf of our nation’s hens.”

Speaking up makes a difference when it comes to protecting animals who have no voice. Take a moment and notify your legislators that you support the passage of this important bill into law. It’s one small thing everyone can do to make a difference.


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