Effort Begins in Washington State to Ban Cruel Battery Cages for Egg-Laying Hens

GemperleBatteryCage.jpgOn Wednesday, Washingtonians for Humane Farms – a broad coalition of family farming, food safety, environmental, and animal protection groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and Mercy For Animals – filed a petition in Washington State to ban the use of battery cages for egg production. If passed, this measure would take effect in 2018 and would prohibit the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, or fully extend their wings. The Act also stipulates that eggs sold in Washington State must not come from battery-caged hens.

Right now in Washington State, approximately 6 million hens are crammed inside cages so small they can’t even spread their wings or engage in any natural behaviors. With less space than a single sheet of notebook paper to live out almost their entire lives, these animals are reduced to mere egg-producing machines, whose lives are filled with unimaginable suffering. We may not be able to completely spare all egg-laying hens from suffering in the near future, but we can significantly reduce the suffering they are forced to endure at the hands of the egg industry.

With fewer than six months to gather more than 300,000 signatures from Washington voters, we need all the help we can get. If you are a Washington resident and want to help, please sign up here. If you are not a Washington resident, please visit the Washingtonians for Humane Farms website to find out how you can get involved and help spread the word about this important effort.

Of course, while this modest, but meaningful, farmed animal protection initiative will help reduce the suffering of millions of birds each year, the best thing that individual consumers can do to help prevent needless cruelty to animals is to adopt a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle.