Moo-ving people toward compassionate living
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Mohandas Gandhi
"Our lives began and end the day we become silent things that matter" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Originally Posted: January 28, 2012
[Ed. Note: Watch The Reality of "Enriched" Cages for Laying Hens.]
[Ed. Note: UPDATE 3/3/12 A Veterinarian’s Perspective on The Rotten Egg Bill]
[Ed. Note: See statement from United Poultry Concerns]
Tell Congress to STOP Egg Products Inspection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3798). This outrageous legislation must be stopped because it would decriminalize animal cruelty and establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. We need you to please contact your representatives today in order to stop this dangerous bill.
Sign an online petition:
And/or better yet, make direct contact:
Contact your U.S. Senators
Contact your U.S. Representative
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
Just days ago, a bill was introduced in Congress that would seal the fate of millions of laying hens, keeping them locked in factory farm cages forever. This Rotten Egg Bill is also known as the Egg Products Inspection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3798).
This outrageous legislation would decriminalize animal cruelty and establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote. We need you to please contact your representatives today in order to stop this dangerous bill.
Photos of "Colony" Cages by Jayme Fraser / The Oregonians
Substituting one cruel cage for another, the entire point of the egg industry's legislation is to:
This destructive measure is being sponsored by the United Egg Producers (UEP) – the egg factory trade association that is currently facing charges of alleged illegal price fixing – other industry organizations, and a handful of collaborators.
Proponents claim that this legislation would eventually result in "progress" for laying hens. Just the opposite is true. In reality, the egg industry merely agreed to slowly – at the glacial pace of 18 years – continue the meager changes in battery cage conditions that are already occurring due to state laws and public pressure.
In short, the Rotten Egg Bill (H.R. 3798) would keep hens forever suffering
in small cages in which they could never engage in the many natural behaviors
essential for their most basic health and well being.
The position of the Humane Farming Association and other responsible activists and organizations remains clear:
It is incorrect to say that the proposed federal legislation would eliminate battery cages. Batteries consist of rows and tiers of identical units; in this case the units are cages. The proposed legislation will enshrine battery cages, not eliminate them. Egg-laying hens will be locked inside windowless buildings, crammed in cages stacked from the floor and lined up in long rows, just as they are now. Tiny furnishings, including plastic strips, falsely called “nests,” are being prettified as “colonies” and “enrichments.” This vocabulary makes people feel good, but it is bad for birds whose legs and wings are designed to run, walk, perch and be physically active, not rot in cages.
After decades of humane efforts in the US and Europe to get hens out of cages, a law that ensures they’ll never get out is being hailed as a victory for hens and “animal rights.” But it isn’t. If people knew the truth of the egg industry and how hens are actually treated behind the scenes, they would be sickened. We do not need to eat their eggs to be healthy.
Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns
A Veterinarian’s Perspective on The Rotten Egg Bill
Battery cages are the most unhealthful and distressing means of keeping hens for egg production. Disease conditions such as “cage layer fatigue” and bone fractures due to lack of exercise are major medical issues and are associated with physical pain and suffering.
These are due largely to a lack of meaningful exercise such as flying and running. Depriving hens of important behaviors such as dust bathing or perching well above floor level, a quiet place to lay eggs, proper and adequate exercise, and the opportunity to form social groups of their choosing all have a major negative impact on their quality of life.
The increase in cage size dictated by the proposed legislation, unfortunately, will have no meaningful positive impact on these issues. Hens will still not be able to get proper exercise, they still will be too crowded to even properly stretch their wings, perches will be at an ineffectual height, and nest boxes will not be conducive to the needs for laying eggs.
What the proposed legislation will do, however, is keep the confinement of hens in cages legal, something that no humane-minded individual should accept.
The cages defined by the legislation will in no meaningful way reduce the unimaginable suffering endured by the hens but will be used by the industry as a means of defending this indefensible practice.
Even if this legislation passes without amendments, the situation would be worse for the hens because it would be setting a disastrous precedent; battery cages would be codified in federal law.
I urge people not to support this legislation: it is intolerable for the hens and will be obstructive to getting any meaningful reform in the future. The only tolerable “step in the right direction” is to insist on getting rid of the cages entirely.
Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D.
Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine, University of California
Thank you for everything you do for animals!