This week the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP) announced a historic agreement to work jointly on federal legislation which would ban battery cages and phase in more humane standards nationwide. This agreement would not have been possible without the hard work of caring citizens on state ballot initiatives, such as our very own Yeson1130! Campaign!
In Washington State alone, the Yeson1130! Campaign gathered 360,000 signatures to help 6.5 million egg-laying hens statewide. Little did we know our collective efforts would create a tipping point on discussions between HSUS and UEP, changing the course of humane standards for 280 million hens nationwide!
If passed, the new federal legislation would be the first federal law to protect farmed birds, as well as the first to address the treatment of any species of factory farmed animal. Sadly, farm animals are not currently protected under the Federal Animal Welfare Act.
The proposed legislation would transition hens from barren, cramped battery cages (with only 48 to 67 square inches of space to move) to larger enriched colony housing (with 124 to 144 square inches of space to move). The colony environment would also be equipped with nesting boxes, perches and scratching areas, to enable hens to express their natural behaviors.
Read more about the proposed legislation in the HSUS and UEP’s joint statement: http://www.unitedegg.org/homeNews/UEP_Press_Release_7-7-11.pdf
This agreement also means ballot measures in Washington and Oregon are currently on hold so that all work can be focused on quick passage of the new federal law. Thanks to all of you who supported the Yeson1130! Campaign! PAWS has been proud to endorse Yeson1130 and we look forward to seeing how hens will be positively impacted by all our combined efforts.
Read more about HSUS’ announcement. Also, checkout other ways you can positively impact farm animals in your daily life.