Why Farm Sanctuary supports the Federal Hen Protection Bill
Farm Sanctuary joins a range of groups – from Mercy for Animals and Compassion Over Killing to Humane Society of the United States and In Defense of Animals – in supporting the federal Hen Protection Bill because it will improve living conditions for egg-laying hens on factory farms and require labeling of egg cartons so that consumers know when they’re supporting the caging of hens. Find out why a broad range of organizations that have devoted significant resources to the elimination of battery cages are supporting this bill.
We understand that some of our members may be concerned about backing this law; we share the source of that concern, because at Farm Sanctuary, we believe farm animals should never be exploited for commercial gain. However, we also understand that a goal as significant as ours might require a variety of incremental changes, and we agree with all the other groups that have worked so hard to eliminate battery cages that this new bill is one such change.
This bill, if enacted, will be the first federal law relating to the treatment of chickens used for food, the first federal law relating to the treatment of animals while on farms, and the first federal law improving the treatment of farm animals in more than 30 years.
Right now in the U.S., more than 250 million hens are confined in battery cages that are so small that the birds can’t spread a single wing. Their muscles and bones atrophy, and they slowly go insane. This bill promises significant welfare improvements for tens of millions of hens within a year, important consumer protections within a few years, and an almost-complete phase out of barren battery cages within 15 years. There are other provisions that will ensure that the transition happens, and we are optimistic that the industry will not require 15 years to adapt. We do not believe this bill is an “either or” choice. We believe we can support this new bill, which would immediately improve living conditions for tens of millions of farm animals and we can continue to work toward even more sweeping changes.
For more information about the bill and about contacting your Representative and Senators to ask that they co-sponsor and vigorously support it, please click here.