The sale of eggs from caged hens is set to be outlawed in Washington after Governor Jay Inslee signed a groundbreaking bill.
Keeping battery hens in tiny cages will be illegal in the state once the law comes into force in 2023, and the sale of any eggs produced by caged hens elsewhere will also be outlawed.
Washington follows suit of California, which introduced prop 12 to outlaw hen factory farming last year. At the time activists hoped it would spread across the country, and it seems their wishes are coming into reality.
8 million birds
The Humane Society has estimated that 8 million birds will benefit from the new law each year.
Animal rights group Compassion Over Killing celebrated the news. “Without these protections, egg-laying hens on factory farms are stuffed into tiny wire cages so small they cannot even spread their wings,” the group said in a statement.
“These smart and social animals are deprived of their most basic natural behaviours and treated in ways that would be considered unimaginable for cats or dogs.”
Though the new legislation does improve conditions for hens, activists warn that this does not mean eggs bought in the state are cruelty-free.
“As always, the best way to protect animals is to leave them off our plates,” the statement added.
Massachusetts has also signed off a law prohibiting excessively small cages for egg-laying hens.
Many hens in factory farms across the world are kept in cages measuring 67-76 inches, leading animals to lose their feathers, injure themselves and suffer cuts and bruises.
What do you think of the decision to ban factory egg farming in Washington? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
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