— Require conventional cages (currently used by more than 90 percent of the egg industry) to be replaced, through a phase-in period, with new, “enriched housing” systems that provide each hen nearly double the amount of space they’re currently allotted. Egg producers will invest an additional $4 billion over the next decade and a half to implement this industry-wide make-over;
— Require that all egg-laying hens be provided, through the new enriched housing system, with environments that will allow hens to express natural behaviors, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas;
— Mandate labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as “eggs from caged hens,” “eggs from hens in enriched cages,” “eggs from cage-free hens,” and “eggs from free-range hens”;
—Prohibit feed- or water-withholding molting to extend the laying cycle, a practice already prohibited by the United Egg Producers Certified program and adhered to by a majority of egg farmers;
— Require standards approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia for egg-laying hens;
— Prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses;
— Prohibit the sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these requirements.
(Be sure to check back to get updates on this story as it develops. Also, find out what Wayne Pacelle, CEO, the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producer members were saying about agreement.
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