More than 10 years ago, Michigan’s agribusiness leaders endorsed legislation to improve conditions for farm animals. Most hens used by the egg industry are locked in cages so small they can’t even spread their wings; each bird has less space than the dimensions of a sheet of notebook paper on which to live her entire life. The bill required that over time the birds be given more space.
This legislation passed with the support of Republicans, Democrats, humane organizations, and the state’s egg industry. But now that the law is soon coming into full effect, large egg corporations are working with lawmakers to extend the phase-in date another six years!
While the new language does mandate an elimination of cages and that all eggs sold in the state be cage-free, permitting factory farms to confine hens another six years is unnecessary, especially when other states have already passed legislation with faster phase-in periods.
Science confirms what common sense already tells us: that locking an animal in a cage so small she can barely move causes her to suffer greatly. It’s morally wrong, and numerous successful Michigan family farms that shun such cruelty have shown that it’s completely unnecessary. Moreover, because animals in cage-free facilities are healthier, they’re less likely to spread dangerous bacteria into Michigan’s food supply. That’s why the Center for Food Safety opposes Senate Bill 174.
Tell Your Michigan Lawmakers:
Keep Animal Protections
Step 1Find Your Representatives
Step 2SEND YOUR REPRESENTATIVES THIS EMAIL
Sample email to lawmakers – subject line:
Reject SB 174, an assault on animals and family farmers
Sample email to lawmakers – text:
Please reject Senate Bill 174, which legalizes the cruel and inhumane confinement of egg-laying hens in cages for another six years.
Producers have had more than a decade to meet the standards of a law they agreed to in 2009. But instead of taking the steps necessary to follow the law, they’re quietly working with some legislators to push the phase-out date even further.
While the latest version of SB 174 does make some positive changes to the regulations, six more years is far too long to wait to help these abused animals. It’s significantly longer than other states are taking to make these reforms.
Senate Bill 174 would increase unnecessary suffering and lead to more distrust in Michigan’s political process. If agribusiness is allowed to unilaterally create its own lengthy extensions to avoid laws that were collaboratively forged, why would stakeholders on any issue trust the process enough to work together in the future?
In addition, Senate Bill 174 puts Michigan families at risk. More than a dozen studies have found that Salmonella is more prevalent in cage egg production than in cage-free.
Please reject Senate Bill 174 unless a more appropriate phase-in date can be agreed upon by the stakeholders.