Ohio association takes wait-and-see attitude on new California egg law

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SALEM, Ohio — The Ohio egg industry is waiting to see if a new California law will have an impact here in the Buckeye State.

The law, signed into effect July 6, will require all eggs sold in California to come from hens that have room to move, lie down and spread their wings without touching each other. The new law extends the state’s Proposition 2 requirements to all eggs sold in the state — even those produced in other states.

California rules don’t take effect until 2015, but producers are already trying to figure out what kind of housing will meet the standards.

According to the Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio is the second largest egg producer in the United States.

No statistics

However, the OPA does not have any statistics available as to whether or not Ohio eggs are reaching California shelves.

OPA Executive Vice President Jim Chakeres said the organization is designed to promote eggs and does not have knowledge of any individual farms and who they are selling eggs to in the country.

California ripple

Some industry observers believe the standard being set in California laying hen housing will become the standard elsewhere in the country.

The recent compromise reached between Ohio, major farm organizations and the Humane Society of the United States, recommends the state deny any permits of new egg facilities that would use battery cages.

Many in the egg industry in Iowa want to move to a European designed caging system that allows hens to perch and move around. However, HSUS is stating it is also against the law to cage the birds in that manner and would prefer a cageless system.

Too early

Chakeres said it is too early for Ohio producers to know how the California laws will affect them because the deadline is still over four years away.

He said a lot could change between now and then and it is just too early to develop a plan and have it changed many times over before 2015 gets close.

Chakeres said, however, the organization is concerned with all marketing facets of the egg industry and will be keeping an eye on the situation.

(A previous version of this story incorrectly stated 2015 was a target date for changes to be made to battery cages in Ohio.)

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

3 Comments

  1. The Scarlet Pimpernel says:

    I have a better recommendation. Instead of letting this camel’s nose into your tent, LET CALIFORNIA STARVE. Yeah, you may have to cut back your own production a bit, but isn’t that better than HSUS’s endpoint, which would be no egg production at all??

  2. Dannielle says:

    Ohio should also take note that HSUS just came out with a public statement that NO cages will ever be considered good enough, and only cage free is acceptable to them.
    this now means, in CA, that producers will be forced to go cage free, and that no eggs may be shipped into the state that aren’t cage free.

    not “roomier” cages, NO cages.
    ewwwwww. I can’t for the life of me see where a few hundred million eggs could be safely produced, for the animals and for the consumers, using this method.

    Ohio should refuse to deal with the devil in any way, shape or form until 2016. wait to see what happens to families trying to buy food and watch the ripple effect now just in the purchase of eggs themselves, but the cost of all products containing eggs.

  3. LC says:

    Dannielle you are completely correct, the HSUS posted the notice on their website as of 7/21…after the “agreement” with Gov. Strickland, Jack Fisher and the Ag Council. Nice of them to tell the Gov battery cages is okay then post that notice.

    Although the HSUS can not reach the ballot this nov, there is nothing stopping them from attacking us again next nov and I believe they will. They will continue until they get their way. I believe we should stop them now before they get a foot in the door.

    All you HSUS supporters that read this, you know full well that the objective of HSUS is NO ANIMALS. Your CEO took what he could get knowing he’d be back. I’m sure Hillary-HSUS will be monitoring this post as well and give us her psychobabble rap of useless information. Hillary, I hope a bug never bores into your brain and lays eggs because down the road you might think your having a good idea but it’s just the eggs hatching.

    The whole “Agreement” is bad for our state. It doesn’t matter if it’s livestock, dogs or exotic animals, the whole thing is bad. I’m not agreeing that HB108 on cock fighting should be allowed, but if too birds’ fighting is going to be felony, so should domestic abuse.

    A lot of people are misled on SB95 called the puppy mill bill. All this does is allow the unlicensed breeders to continue and punish the legit Kennels. It needs to be changed to allow legit Kennels to continue and punish the unlicensed breeders.

    Fight Ohio, darn it, it’s your animals and in some cases your livelihoods that’s at stake. It may not be tomorrow but our future gets darker every bit of freedom HSUS takes from us.

    HSUS – If you had been around when Noah loaded the Ark, would you have lobbied the locals to stop it or just had him arrested as an Animal Hoarder?

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