The Federal Egg Bill

After California, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington adopted rules related to the housing of egg-laying hens, The HSUS and the leaders of the egg industry sat down to discuss working together to find a national solution. They set aside their previous orthodoxies, and looked for a middle ground that would benefit animals, farmers, and consumers. They reached an agreement to jointly advocate for federal legislation that would phase in more space and enrichments for hens, bans on inhumane euthanasia and forced starvation molting, as well as a national labeling program so consumers have more information about conditions in which hens are raised.

The federal bill, which was a lower space standard than Prop 2, would have preempted state laws on the issue, providing one consistent national standard and improving the welfare of hens in all 50 states. However, the federal bill was killed by the pork and beef industries, who argued that if there were federal anti-cruelty rules for chickens, similar rules for pigs and cattle could soon follow.

As a result, Prop 2 and AB 1437 took effect on January 1, 2015.