Oregon passes law requiring eggs sold there to come from cage-free hens

Oregon passes law requiring eggs sold there to come from cage-free hens
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed legislation into law on Monday that requires farms in the state to house egg-laying hens in a cage-free housing system.

Under Senate Bill 1019, commercial farm owners or operators that yield an annual egg production with flocks larger than 3,000 egg-laying hens are required give their birds unrestricted room to roam.

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The farms are also required to provide the hens with “enrichments” that allow them to exhibit what the bill referred to as “natural behavior,” which includes, at a minimum, “scratch areas, perches, nest boxes and dust bathing areas.”

The law mandates that all state facilities in which eggs are produced or sold to be cage-free by 2024, The Oregonian reports.

The bill’s passage was celebrated by the Humane Society of the United States on Monday as a “monumental win for hens confined in tiny cages in the egg industry.”

Voters in California approved a similar measure last year requiring all facilities that sell eggs in the state to be cage-free by 2022, The Associated Press reported at the time.

The law earned praise from Josh Balk, vice president at the Humane Society of the United States, last year, who called the vote “a massive blow against industrial animal agriculture's abusive confinement systems.”