March 12, 2020
On March 3, legislation was introduced in Colorado’s House of Representatives that impacts housing for laying hens and the sale of egg and egg products within the state. The bill, as written, would require 1-square foot of floor space by January 1, 2022, and cage-free, or more extensive, housing by January 1, 2024. The cage-free standards match UEP Certified standards.
The bill addresses partitions within a house noting, “For an indoor environment, the egg-laying hens are free to roam unrestricted except by the following: A) exterior walls; and B) interior fencing used to contain the entire egg-laying hen flock within the building or subdivide flocks into smaller groups if farm employees can walk through each contained or subdivided area to provide care to egg-laying hens and if each egg-laying hen has the minimum amount of usable floor space described in section 35-21-203 (1)(b)(II).”
On March 5, Hawaii’s Senate passed SB 3153 that will require cage-free, or more extensive, housing for laying hens within the state. The bill also prohibits the sale of shell eggs or egg products that are not from cage-free or more extensive systems. Though the legislation does not mention “United Egg Producers,” it does require UEP Certified standards. The bill also sets housing standards for swine and veal calves. The next step is for the bill to go before the House. If the bill becomes law, as written, the standards will go into effect on January 1, 2026.
On March 11, the Arizona House approved HB 2724, that requires 1-square foot of floor space by January 1, 2022, and cage-free, or more extensive, housing by December 31, 2024. The cage-free standards match UEP Certified standards.
Read more in “Arizona House O.K.s bill to require major egg farms to be cage-free by 2025,” from Tucson.com.
Legislation, similar to Colorado’s and Hawaii’s, was also introduced in Maine. Rep. O’Neil’s amended bill was defeated in committee by a vote of 9 to 3. Cage-free legislation is still pending.
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