This proposal deals only with egg-laying hens and has no effect on others in animal agriculture. It amends the Egg Products Inspection Act, a federal statute that already regulates the sale of eggs and does not reach into other agricultural products. This is a matter of self-determination for the egg industry. If this legislation is blocked by other livestock organizations unfamiliar with the science or economics of egg production, some egg farmers in certain states face the very real prospect of going out of business.
The leading scientists familiar with the egg industry embrace the legislation and urge a transition to larger, enriched colony cages. Animal scientist Jeffrey D. Armstrong calls the proposal the “best all around” for hen welfare. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Avian Pathologists and the Association of Avian Veterinarians all support this legislation as the best way forward for science-based animal welfare standards.
This is the sort of problem-solving the country needs. Congress should enthusiastically approve this legislation for the good of farmers, consumers and hundreds of millions of birds.
Wayne Pacelle is president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Gene Gregory is president and CEO of United Egg Producers.
United We Dream protesters carry a mock coffin to the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Monday, July 21, 2014, to hold one of their "funeral services for the Republican Party" due to GOP positions on immigration. The immigration reform group visited several other Senate Republican offices to hold similar funeral services.