MARYLAND—The Humane Society of the United States is launching a six-figure advertising campaign to advocate for legislation aimed at ensuring that eggs produced or sold in Maryland meet cage-free standards.

Advocates are determined that the proposed bill SB 193/HB TBD, sponsored by Maryland Sen. Karen Lewis Young (Frederick County) and Del. Jennifer Terrasa (Howard County), will advance this session. The bill is supported by not just humane advocates; it has support from over 100 Maryland family farmers. The legislation aims to mandate cage-free operations in Maryland, aligning with industry guidelines after an implementation period.

The video ads will illustrate the harsh reality faced by egg-laying hens in facilities that house them in cages. These birds, confined to cages so small they cannot spread their wings, endure a lifetime of captivity in a space less than that of a single letter-sized sheet of paper. These birds are deprived of virtually all of their natural behaviors.

With this ad buy, the HSUS seeks to demonstrate the broad public support for cage-free reforms and ensure that this bill is not lost in the shuffle during the coming 90 days. The ad campaign not only reflects the changing public sentiment regarding the inhumane confinement of farm animals but also highlights the necessity for Maryland to join other states and numerous food companies in adopting cage-free standards. By doing so, Maryland can play a pivotal role in aligning itself with the evolving ethical standards in the industry.

Locking animals in cramped cages not only inflicts immense suffering but also poses significant food safety risks. Extensive research reveals a higher prevalence of salmonella in cage egg production compared to cage-free alternatives, underlining the urgency for Maryland to prioritize the health and well-being of both animals and consumers.

"Marylanders deserve eggs that are both safer and more humane," said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Maryland state director of the Humane Society of the United States. "The appalling conditions faced by hens in cages not only violate ethical principles but also contradict the values that define Maryland."

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