Animal lovers, rejoice! An agreement has been made between United Egg Producers (UEP) and several organizations to improve the treatment of egg-laying hens in the factory farming industry. UEP, which represents nearly all of the United States’ egg farms, has agreed to support federal legislation that, if enacted, will be a milestone in the movement for change in big agriculture’s treatment of animals.
Organizations including Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States and their supporters have been hard at work to reach this agreement and are pushing for legislation to be passed. According to Bruce Friedrich, Senior Director of Initiatives at Farm Sanctuary, on the Huffington Post today: “This bill, if enacted, will be the first federal law relating to the treatment of chickens used for food, the first federal law relating to the treatment of animals while on farms, and the first federal law improving the treatment of farmed animals in more than thirty years.”
All egg farms would be required to end the use of battery cages (tiny cages in which chickens are kept without room to move or even stretch), provide the birds with enrichment and ability to engage in natural behaviors, label egg cartons with information regarding the raising of the chickens used, and stop the process of forced molting by starving the birds. The farms would also be prohibited from excessive use of ammonia in their hen facilities and be required to utilize humane euthanasia practices. The selling of any eggs or products made from those eggs not meeting these requirements would be prohibited.
The millions of animals in the egg industry often live in horrific conditions and are severely abused and neglected. This is a powerful step toward change!