Voters approved Proposition 2 in 2008, giving California farmers more than six years to switch to new housing systems that give hens more room to move around.
Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), says many egg producers have yet to begin the transition, and some are converting to colony cage systems her group believes don’t comply with the new standards.
“We’ve had ongoing concerns California egg producers have spent more time litigating than they have working to comply with voters’ wishes,” Fearing says. “So, we are raising our hands at this stage of the game in the hopes of encouraging them to move in that direction.”
In addition to Proposition 2, California lawmakers in 2010 passed AB 1437, a law that requires all shell eggs sold in the state be produced in compliance with Prop 2, also starting in January 2015.
Fearing says the majority of California’s 19 million egg-laying hens are currently being raised in tiny enclosures known as battery cages.
“They’re small cages where each animal is given less space than a letter-size sheet of paper,” she says. “These are barren cages that include no form of enrichment for the animals. And that’s where these animals spend their entire life, which is up to 18 months before they’re slaughtered.”
To help egg farmers understand the new law, the Humane Society of the United States has launched a website, CageFreeCA.com. – See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-02-21/animal-welfare/ca-egg-farmers-urged-to-comply-with-prop-2-as-deadline-approaches/a37659-1#sthash.hmG1fQf7.dpuf