Animal Law

Advocates for Chickens, Egg Industry Agree on National Cage Standards, Ending State-by-State Debate

Just as lobbyists and lawmakers in Oregon hit the home stretch in discussions about appropriate standards for keeping chickens in humane conditions, it looks like their efforts may not be needed.

Animal rights advocates and representatives of the egg industry have reached an agreement about a potential federal law that would set national standards and put an end to state-by-state debate, the Oregonian reports.

While it would not require the cage-free environment for hens that some had sought, it would set standards establishing the chickens’ rights to larger cages and amenities such as perches and scratching posts. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, said the two sides agreed to the scheme to avoid spending time debating, in state after state, provisions that seemed likely to win approval eventually and establish a uniform national set of rules for chicken-keeping.

However, not everyone is happy about the pact. The National Pork Producers Council is already on the record as opposed to the “dangerous precedent” set by an agreement that nationalizes agriculture rules traditionally set by the states.

Earlier coverage: “Is a Cage-Free Chicken a Happy Hen? Oregon Lawmakers Ponder This and Other Issues”

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