22 Mar 2021

Egg-laying hens will be in cage-free systems by 2025 in Utah



AUTHOR

AviNews International Team

Diamond V

A new bill SB 147 law sponsored by Sen. Scott Sandall and Rep. Joel Ferry about the confinement of egg-laying hens in Utah and signed by Governor Spencer Cox established that egg-laying hens should be in cage-free by 2025.

 

Some details about the new bill indicated that a “Cage-free housing system” is to have the hens in an indoor or outdoor controlled environment where they are free to roam unrestricted. Moreover, cage-free does not include systems commonly described as battery cages, commonly cages, enriched cages, convertible cages, furnished cages, etc.

It means that from January 1st of 2025, Utah farm owners and operators cannot confine egg-laying hens in an enclosure that is not a cage-free housing system or that has less usable floor space per hen than required by specific industry guidelines.

The new bill also includes the following exceptions created by the Department of Agriculture and Food:

  • Hens used for medical research
  • Veterinary assistance (By or under a licensed DVM): During examination, testing, individual treatments
  • On transportation
  • At state or county fair exhibitions
  • During slaughter according to applicable laws and regulations
  • Kept for temporary animal husbandry purposes of no more than 6 hours in any 24-hour period and no more than 24 hours total in any 30-day period.

However, Utah is not the only state with this kind of law and regulations. Different states such as Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, and Colorado have been required to change the egg-laying hen cage system to cage-free.

The Agricultural Marketing Service from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that around 30% of the egg industry in the U.S. is cage-free, which represents approximately 100 million hens per year. Additionally, it is




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