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.