Oh, Snap! Federal Appeals Court Rules Against Cruel Egg Industry

In a victory for farmed animals nationwide, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently threw out yet another challenge to one of California’s most important animal protection laws.

In 2014, Iowa’s governor and the attorneys general for Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma filed a lawsuit to overturn AB 1437 — a companion bill to Proposition 2 that prohibits not only the use of battery cages, but also the sale in California of eggs produced by hens confined to them. These ag-friendly officials didn’t want egg producers in their states to have to meet Prop 2’s basic standards to sell eggs to California consumers. Instead, they waited until the year the law was set to take effect to file a lawsuit, saying it “discriminated against their states.

Thankfully, the Ninth Circuit tossed out the case earlier this month. “There is no discrimination here, wrote Judge Susan Graber. “California egg farmers are subject to the same rules as egg farmers from all other states.

The court also found that each of these public officials was really suing on behalf of corporate agribusiness interests, not on behalf of the people of their states as they’re supposed to be.

Mercy For Animals commends the Ninth Circuit for upholding California’s right to set basic animal cruelty standards. Officials should be listening to their constituents by regulating factory farms, not working to undermine these regulations on the industry’s behalf. The overwhelming support for laws like Prop 2 proves that animal protection is a mainstream American value.

In fact, 2016 has been a banner year for the cage-free movement. In short order, more than 200 of the largest U.S. companies—including every major grocery and fast-food chain—have announced plans to phase out their reliance on extreme forms of animal confinement. And an astounding four out of five Massachusetts voters cast their ballot for Question 3 earlier this month, making their state the eleventh to take action on cruel confinement practices. With this level of consensus, it looks like the barbaric era of extreme confinement is finally coming to an end.

Earlier this year, an MFA undercover investigation at Gray Ridge Egg Farms exposed the truth behind the cruel egg industry. Hidden-camera footage shows birds crammed in cages and unable to spread their wings, hens suffering from severe feather loss and untreated injuries, and dead birds rotting in cages with birds still laying eggs destined for people’s plates. 

Sounds horrifying, right? Watch.

Thankfully, you can take action for animals every day by choosing healthy plant-based meals. Check out ChooseVeg.com to learn how.