Michigan Senate Votes to Delay Cage-Free Ban for Hens

Associated Press writer David Eggert reported last week that, “A divided Michigan Senate on Thursday passed an update of the state’s animal industry law, including a proposed delay of a requirement that chickens and pigs be given more room in their cages and stalls.

“Much of the seven-bill package won unanimous support, but senators split over giving dairy farms more time to implement enclosure standards for egg-laying hens that take effect this month under a 2009 law. Farmers would not have to comply until October 2025 for hens and next April for pregnant pigs under one of the measures that was sent to the House for consideration.

“Business owners could not knowingly sell an egg that came from a farm with 3,000 or more egg-laying hens if they knew or should have known that the egg was produced by a hen that was confined in violation of standards. The state could go to court to stop violators, though they would not face criminal penalties.”

The AP article noted that, “The farm animal confinement rules were enacted in 2009 as part of a compromise in which the Humane Society of the United States agreed to no longer push a ballot initiative.

“The Michigan Allied Poultry Industries said farmers are spending millions of dollars to transition to cage-free hen houses. About 8.5 million, or 56%, of hens currently live cage-free. An additional 1 million, or 6%, will be cage-free by the end of 2020, according to the group.”

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