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Victory! Federal Judge Dismisses Attempt to Overturn California’s Hen Protection Law

In a tremendous victory for animals, yesterday a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by several Big-Ag states challenging California’s precedent-setting law requiring factory farmers to provide egg-laying hens with at least enough room to stand up, turn around, and spread their wings. The judge also barred states from ever filing a similar lawsuit in the future.

This decision is the result of a lawsuit filed earlier this year by state officials from Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, and Iowa challenging California’s AB 1437, a law requiring out-of-state egg producers who wish to do business in California to provide egg-laying hens with enough space to engage in natural behaviors. AB 1437 is the counterpart to California’s historic Proposition 2, an overwhelmingly popular ballot initiative that effectively prohibits factory farmers from cramming animals in cages so small they can’t turn around or stretch their limbs.

This decision marks a crushing defeat to an industry that routinely cuts corners and minimizes costs at the expense of animal welfare.

Time and again, undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals have exposed the horrific treatment of egg-laying hens who endure lives filled with misery and deprivation in filthy wire battery cages. MFA investigations at two of California’s largest egg factory farms, released just weeks before California voters cast their ballots on Prop 2, contributed to the outcry against these intensive confinement systems and made Prop 2 one of the 
most popular ballot initiatives in California history.

Watch hidden-camera footage from a Mercy For Animals’ investigation inside a California battery-cage egg farm below.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the days are numbered for many of the factory farming industry’s cruelest practices.

Although this legal victory will help reduce the suffering of millions of animals, the best thing that consumers can do to prevent needless cruelty to farmed animals is to choose healthy and humane vegan alternatives to meat, milk, and eggs. Learn more at