Breaking news! Today, Colorado enacted into law a bill that will reduce suffering for millions of egg-laying hens each year.
The legislation, Senate bill 174, requires all eggs sold in Colorado to come from hens raised in cage-free conditions by January 1, 2025. This means that all Colorado farms—and all out-of-state farms that sell eggs to Colorado—must transition to cage-free conditions. Mercy For Animals is proud to have been part of the powerful coalition of animal organizations that drove this legislation forward.
California, Washington, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Michigan recently enacted similar laws, and other states are considering such legislation.
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With negotiations on the bill underway, Mercy For Animals’ senior vice president of advocacy, who is a Colorado resident and voter, filed a ballot initiative on the issue. Ballot initiatives give citizens the opportunity to place legislation on the ballot for a statewide vote, and several states have used them to advance animal protection laws. The ballot initiative signaled to the egg industry and the legislature that animal advocates were prepared to continue to fight for hens even if Senate bill 174 was unsuccessful.
Opposition to the bill subsequently dwindled, probably because ballot initiatives are costly to fight, and the egg industry knew that voters would support the initiative. Now that the law has been enacted, the ballot initiative is not needed. We commend the Colorado legislature for passing the bill and Colorado governor Jared Polis for signing it into law.
On top of legislative success, the cage-free movement has achieved much corporate headway. More than 300 companies, including McDonald’s, Walmart, and Kroger, have committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs. Mercy For Animals led the charge on many of these corporate commitments.
The success of this legislation is thanks in large part not just to our coalition but to thousands of Colorado animal advocates who have raised their voices for stronger animal protection laws by contacting their representatives and urging support. Be sure you are signed up for our emails so that you too can raise your voice with us when similar policies are introduced where you live.
Progress like this would not be possible without support from animal activists like you. Please consider making a gift to Mercy For Animals so that together we can continue to reduce animal suffering worldwide.