May 6, 2013
Bill to Improve Living Conditions for Millions of Egg-Laying Hens
S. 820/H.R. 1731 would increase living space, help in other ways
What is S. 820/H.R. 1731?
More than 90% of egg-laying hens in the U.S. are crammed into tiny, barren battery cages so restrictive that each bird has a space smaller than a sheet of paper on which to live.
You can help improve the lives of all 280 million birds used annually for egg production by urging your U.S. Senators to support and co-sponsor S. 820/H.R. 1731, the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013.
What would this bill do?
The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013 at a Glance
- Would improve living conditions for hundreds of millions of egg-laying hens
- Is supported by animal protection groups, consumers, and the egg industry
- Needs your support—please contact your legislators now
Additionally, S. 820/H.R. 1731, the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2014, would:
- require conventional cages to be replaced during a phase-in period with new, enriched colony housing systems that provide each egg-laying hen with nearly double the amount of current space
- require that all egg-laying hens be provided with environmental enrichments, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas, allowing them to express more natural behaviors
- require labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, e.g., "eggs from caged hens," and "eggs from cage-free hens"
- prohibit feed- or water-withdrawal molting to extend the laying cycle
- require standards approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia of egg-laying hens
- prohibit the transport and sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don't meet these requirements
Who supports this bill?
- Agricultural groups, including the United Egg Producers, Michigan Agri-Business Association, and state egg and poultry associations
- Veterinary groups, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Avian Pathologists, Association of Avian Veterinarians, and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
- Consumer groups, including the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumers League
- Hundreds of egg farmers and other family farmers
- Animal welfare groups, including The Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, Farm Sanctuary, Mercy for Animals, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Compassion Over Killing, Compassion In World Farming, The Humane League, World Society for the Protection of Animals, and local humane societies
- These newspapers have endorsed the legislation in editorials:
American consumers overwhelmingly support nationwide improvements in housing for laying hens. An independent poll by the Bantam Group found that consumers support S. 820/H.R. 1731 by a 4-to-1 margin, prefer a federal standard over state standards by a 2-to-1 margin, and support the transition from barren battery cages by a 12-to-1 margin.
Who opposes this bill?
Some sectors of the agribusiness lobby which have no involvement with egg production are desperately trying to kill this bill. Read Wayne Pacelle's blog to learn more about why these groups take their irresponsible position.
What can you do?
You can help improve the lives of hundreds of millions of animals each year by taking action for the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2013. Please call your U.S. Senators and urge them to support and co-sponsor S. 820/H.R. 1731. Thank you.