Friday, October 3, 2014

California laying hen welfare law spreads its wings

The California law requiring eggs sold in the state to be produced by birds that must never be housed “in enclosures that prevent them from standing, lying down, turning around and fully extending their limbs” is spreading across the nation.

In 2010, the California Legislature passed a law requiring out-of-state egg farmers selling eggs in California to comply with the same requirements set forth in regulations that came out of a popular vote in favour of Proposition 2.

Extending the law to out-of-state farms was done so California growers would not be at a competitive disadvantage due to the cost of complying with the law by building new housing systems.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of California Judge Kimberly Mueller has dismissed a case by six farm states against the California law that takes effect in January. 

Mueller ruled the plaintiffs representing the states of Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and Iowa did not have standing to file their case.

The court's ruling was accompanied by the entry of final judgment in favor of the State of California, The Humane Society of the United States, and the Association of California Egg Farmers.