(US/ca) So, what should come f irst – the chicken or the egg?
- Move to outlaw the keeping of hens in small wire cages splits
California, with farmers saying it could put them out of business.
WHAT do hens want – and how do humans know?
That's the issue at the heart of a fierce battle looming in California
between animal rights campaigners and egg producers over the welfare
of caged hens. The outcome could crack the state's $300 million
A vote in November on whether to give more space to breeding pigs and
calves raised for veal could also make California the first US state
to ban the housing of egg-laying hens in small wire cages.
If the law is passed – and support for it is running at 63 per cent,
according to a poll – most of California's egg producers would be
driven out of business, opponents say.
Proposition 2 would give the state's 20 million laying hens, most of
which have less floor space than an A4-size piece of paper, enough
room in which to spread their wings, lie down, stand up and turn
If approved, the measure will come into force in 2015.
THE European Union will bring its ban on keeping laying hens in tiny
cages into effect in 2012 – from that date it will allow only
"enriched" cages, which offer a bit more room.
An estimated 200 million hens in the 27 EU countries are kept in cages.
Official figures show that 62 per cent of Britain's 29 million laying
hens are kept in battery cages, while a third are free-range and 4 per
cent are kept in barns.
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