Last year, the Humane Society and the United Egg Producers agreed to seek federal legislation to ban barren battery cages and forced starvation molting. They further agreed to seek a federal labeling requirement that any eggs produced from caged hens would be labeled as such. Virtually every major American animal protection organization has come out in favor of this bill. And—predictably—nearly all the big factory farm trade groups oppose it:
- Egg Farmers of America
- American Farm Bureau Federation
- National Farmers Union
- National Turkey Federation
- National Pork Producers Council
- National Milk Producers Federation
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
- American Sheep Industry Association
Shamefully, the so-called Humane Farming Association (HFA) has sided with the above trade groups in opposing this federal bill. Given the opposition, I’d put this effort side-by-side with California Prop 2 (which HFA also refused to support) in terms of both difficulty and strategic importance. Opponents rightfully realize that the passage of this bill would forever alter the regulatory landscape regarding cruelty to farmed animals. Check out this letter [PDF link] jointly signed by the above trade groups:
While we think this proposal is an unconscionable federal overreach, our gravest concern is that this precedent could leach into all corners of animal farming.
They’re exactly right, and that’s why it’s so important that our side wins this thing. I’ll be regularly blogging the progress of this bill—and how Vegan.com readers can step up to help its passage. You can start today by contacting your House Representative and your two Senators and asking them to support H.R. 3798 (the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendment of 2012). Link.