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The Rotten Egg Bill aka "The Screaming Hen Bill" Needs Our Help To Be Defeated!

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    United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/ 8 May 2013 The Rotten Egg Bill aka The Screaming Hen Bill Needs Our Help To Be Defeated! This
    Message 1 of 1 , May 8, 2013
      United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/
      8 May 2013

      The Rotten Egg Bill aka "The Screaming Hen Bill" Needs Our Help To Be Defeated!

      "This legislation puts cages in place, puts them in law. That's a huge
      cave-in . . ."
      - Joe Miller, attorney for Rose Acre Farms Battery Cage Hen Operation, 2nd
      largest egg producer in the U.S., 2013.

      United Poultry Concerns opposes the EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT AMENDMENTS OF
      2013. We oppose legislation that benefits egg producers and legally condemns
      hens to living in cages.

      Before you read further, please watch "Normal and Natural," a short video by
      Edgar’s Mission in Australia:

      The Egg Bill would legalize and legitimize cages for hens
      What is an enriched cage?
      Helping Hens or Benefiting Their Abusers?
      What Should I Do?

      In "Agreement Raises Flags for Egg-Laying Hens" published in 2012, United
      Poultry Concerns reviewed the effort by animal advocates to ban cages for
      egg-laying hens in Europe and the United States. In 2011, a pact between The
      Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers frustrated this
      effort, which also failed in the European Union when a law went into effect
      January 1, 2012 banning conventional barren battery cages while legalizing
      "enriched" or "furnished" battery cage systems for hens in the EU.

      Following suit, the alliance between HSUS and UEP led to legislation before
      Congress in 2012. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 (The "Egg
      Bill") sought to legalize cages for egg-laying hens, prevent voters from
      initiating ballots to ban cages in their own state, and prohibit states from
      passing stronger welfare laws than those set in the Egg Bill.

      Last year’s bills failed but are once again before Congress. Under the terms of
      the 2013 Egg Bill sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Rep. Curt
      Schrader of Oregon, barren battery cages would be phased out over a 20-year
      period and replaced by "enriched" cages as the dominant housing system for hens
      in the United States.

      The Egg Bill would legalize and legitimize cages for hens

      Since cages are the cheapest way to mass-produce billions of eggs for consumers,
      the majority of the 280 million hens in U.S. facilities will continue to be
      caged in long windowless buildings just as they are now, under the proposed law.

      This year’s Egg Bill is even worse than last year’s: one of the worst exemptions
      allows the toxic excretory ammonia levels of 25 parts per million in
      confined-hen buildings to reach even higher levels of toxicity to accommodate
      egg industry "emergencies" of unspecified duration. The toxic ammonia the Egg
      Bill permits constitutes animal cruelty even without cages.

      What is an enriched cage?

      In her forthcoming book Chickens’ Lib: The Story of a Campaign, Clare Druce,
      founder of Chickens’ Lib in England in the 1970s, summarizes in "Enriched"
      Cages – A Gaping Loophole in the "Welfare" Law for Egg-Laying Hens in the
      European Union:

      "Basically it’s still a battery cage, the birds living behind bars on metal grid
      flooring, the cages stacked up in tiers, many thousands of hens to a building.
      Compared to the old-style cage, there’s mandatory additional floor space per hen
      measuring roughly the size of a postcard, bringing the entire minimum space per
      hen to 750 square centimeters (116 square inches), little more than a sheet of

      The cages must include a perch, a "nest" box and a scratch pad. The term "nest
      box" sounds comforting, Clare says. "But in the enriched cage context it is
      simply a curtained area, behind which the hen finds the same sloping cage floor,
      the metal grid now covered in matting of some kind. Not a wisp of straw, no soft
      material with which to arrange her nest. Some of the enriched colony cages I saw
      held up to 60 hens. Gleaming metal cages stretched away into the distance, and
      there was that familiar unending clamor of frustrated hens’ voices."

      Helping Hens or Benefiting Their Abusers?

      Under the terms of the Egg Bill, the majority of hens will remain in cages. They
      will be locked into a federal law administered by the U.S. Department of
      Agriculture which doesn’t even enforce the 55-year-old "Humane Slaughter Act,"
      from which birds are excluded.

      At most, brown hens, being slightly larger than the white hens who represent the
      majority of egg-laying hens in the United States, may within 20 years get a
      maximum of 144 square inches apiece, or one square foot of living space per hen.
      The white hens will max out at 124 square inches per hen, well below a square
      foot, even though a hen needs a minimum 1.5 square foot, or 216 square inches,
      merely to engage in minimal "normal behavior."

      Whether the Egg Bill would ban starvation molting of hens is a question. The
      ammonia cave-in and the cage cave-in show how capitulation to egg industry
      economics and "emergencies" will likely influence the bill as it moves through
      the legislative process to its final, eviscerated form.

      The claim that the proposed legislation would ban inhumane methods of
      "euthanasia" is totally false. Spent hens are just piles of garbage – a costly
      nuisance – to egg producers, to be gotten rid of any old way. Like the male
      chicks of the egg industry who are trashed as soon as they are born, their
      sisters are a waste product to this industry as soon as they lay fewer eggs.
      Gassing hens to death with CO2 in metal boxes is NOT EUTHANASIA!

      What Should I Do?

      United Poultry Concerns opposes the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments. We
      oppose legislation that benefits egg producers and legally condemns hens to
      living in cages. With Congress set to consider the Farm Bill shortly, please
      notify your U.S. Senators and Representatives that you oppose the Egg Products
      Inspection Act Amendments. Call them at (202) 224-3121. Urge them to oppose this
      legislation and briefly and clearly explain your reason.

      Thank you for taking action.

      To view Humane Farming Association's animated video A Cage Is A Cage and learn
      more, please visit:

      To learn more about enriched cages and why sanctuaries oppose them, see
      Enriched" Cages for Egg-Laying Hens in the US and EU by United Poultry

      United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
      the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
      Don't just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.
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