Senate Passes Animal Welfare Improvements For Egg-Laying Hens

BOSTON (06/24/2021) – Senator Cindy F. Friedman (D-Arlington) joined the Massachusetts Senate in passing legislation to create a more secure egg supply chain and raise Massachusetts’ farm animal welfare standards to align with other states. An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards would upgrade Massachusetts’ egg production law to create predictability and certainty by mirroring the national United Egg Producers cage-free guidelines, which have been adopted by leading retailers, producers, and other states.

In 2016, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed what at the time was the strongest law for farm animals in U.S. history, An Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, known as Question 3. Since then, leading retailers, producers, and other states mandated even stronger standards in the shift to cage-free conditions for hens. The legislation passed in the Senate, An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards, updates existing state law to meet this new standard. This bill has the support of the animal welfare groups that supported the 2016 ballot question, as well as the support of the leading egg producers in the Commonwealth.

“Updating Massachusetts’s farm animal welfare law was overdue,” said Senator Friedman. “This bill will not only benefit the Commonwealth’s farm animals by improving standards for egg-laying hens but will also benefit consumers through affordable egg prices.”

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