Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently signed into law a bill banning the use of cages in egg production in the state. This means that all egg producers will have to go cage-free by 2024.
The new law requires hens have room to move around and stretch their wings instead of being confined to cages with less room than a standard sheet of paper. The law passed without much opposition from farmers in the state.
Josh Balk with the Humane Society of the United States said that consumer habits have helped to change the minds of those resistant.
“Our county overall has moved in a much better direction where, collectively now: producers, humane organizations and legislators together are working to improve the welfare of these animals,” he said.
This law is now the strongest in the nation in protecting hens. It’s on par with a new law that passed in Washington just last month and slightly stronger than California laws. The Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, a trade group representing egg producers, couldn’t be reached for comment. Balk says animal welfare is an issue that people from all political parties are in agreement about and hopes to see more movement in other states.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct year when Senate Bill 1019’s rules requiring cage-free eggs and egg products goes into effect. OPB regrets the error.