As far as labeling egg cartons, the bill certainly would do that. For the very first time, the euphemistic and grossly misleading term “enriched cages” would begin appearing on egg cartons nationwide in order to deflect public concern and to increase egg sales from caged hens.
In stark contrast to every legitimate anti-cruelty law in the nation, H.R. 3798 and S. 3239 contain no criminal penalties. While nullifying state laws that contain appropriate penalties and enforcement, this egg industry power grab would shift all authority to the industry-dominated Agriculture Department. This would be a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.
Americans overwhelmingly support laws banning egg factory cages. The Humane Society of the United States can change its own position from one moment to the next. But our state laws and voting rights do not belong to them and are not theirs to trade away.
We urge everyone concerned about animal cruelty and food safety to contact their Senators and Representatives and ask their no vote on H.R. 3798 and S. 3239. Please help stop this outrageous bill that would forever keep hens in cages — while taking away our voting rights.
Bradley Miller is national director of the Humane Farming Association.