It’s been an inspiring week of legal progress in the fight to end extreme farmed animal confinement practices. While Californians have been approved to vote on a historic upcoming ballot initiative, Rhode Island lawmakers and advocates have secured another incredible victory—one that’s been years in the making.
On Saturday night, with only a few days left in the legislative session, the Rhode Island Senate voted 22 to 1 in favor of a bill that would prohibit the use of cruel battery cages in the state. Rhode Island already prohibits the extreme confinement of mother pigs in gestation crates and baby calves in veal crates. House bill 7456, which now heads to the governor’s desk, would extend that essential protection to egg-laying hens and make the Ocean State the sixth to outlaw battery cages.
Right now over 200 million egg-laying hens in the United States—including tens of thousands in Rhode Island—are permanently confined in crowded, barren wire cages where they have less floor space than the surface of an iPad on which to spend their entire lives. Numerous Mercy For Animals undercover investigations have documented the unfathomable cruelty this practice entails.
For years, MFA staff and supporters—in alliance with other state and national animal protection organizations—have campaigned for Rhode Island officials to finally ban these cruel cages. Together, we contacted our lawmakers, testified at public hearings, knocked on doors, made phone calls, and wrote letters. We never gave up, and today we prevailed.
MFA heartily congratulates Rhode Island senator Pat Sherpa for her steadfast leadership on this bill and strongly urges Governor Gina Raimondo to promptly sign House bill 7456 into law. Although the measure would give producers too much time to phase out battery cages (it would not take effect until 2026), it would still be an important and long-overdue step forward in the fight to prevent animal cruelty.
If you live in Rhode Island, you can help by politely asking Governor Raimondo to sign this bill today. Click here to take action.
MFA will continue working to prevent cruelty to farmed animals however possible, including through this inspiring legislative reform. Of course, the best way to prevent animal cruelty is simply to leave animals off your plate altogether. Please visit ChooseVeg.com to learn how.