CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD APPLY CAGED HEN RULES TO OUT OF STATE EGGS http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_eggs11.4644e80.html
[See related story down below, re PRICES of eggs rising 43.7% likely due to HSUS law that voters passed, egg producers likely fearing HSUS will be passing the same type laws in all states]
SACRAMENTO – California’s upcoming ban on small cages for egg-laying hens would be extended to out-of-state egg producers if a bill moving through the Legislature becomes law.
The state’s $648 million egg industry so far is neutral on the legislation, which is championed by the same groups [HSUS et al] that backed Prop. 2, the successful November ballot initiative that requires more room for chickens and other farm animals.
The bill, though, already has received support from legislators who opposed Prop. 2. They say it will help California’s egg industry compete with out-of-state egg producers who, under current law, will not need to comply with Prop. 2 when its rules take effect in 2015. “I think there’s a general consensus out there that if our industries have to do certain things for the housing of poultry, then we don’t think it’s too much to ask the rest of the country to adhere to the same rules that we do, just to keep our folks competitive,” said Assemblyman Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, a co-author of AB 1437. He opposed Prop. 2.
Prop. 2 mandates that pigs, calves raised for veal and egg-laying hens have enough space to lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs. Violators can face criminal penalties. Its main impact is on the egg industry, which led last year’s opposition to the initiative.
An Assembly committee analysis of the bill raised concerns that expanding Prop. 2’s rules to out-of-state egg producers could violate the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution meant to prevent states from restricting imports from other states. In addition, the new legislation has failed to placate California egg producers’ frustration with Prop. 2. The industry is forming a new group, the Association of California Egg Farmers, mainly to deal with Prop. 2’s implementation.
Gary Foster, general manager of Riverside County’s Norco Ranch, a major egg producer, said his company recently canceled a $35 million expansion because of questions about complying with Prop. 2. Among other things, he said, the 540-word law leaves unclear what sort of building would meet the initiative’s requirement that chickens need to be able to extend their wings without touching another bird. Would a producer get in trouble if birds touched while extending their wings at the same time, for example, Foster asked.
“It incorporates Prop. 2 but doesn’t explain what it is,” Foster said of this year’s bill. “We would like very much to comply with what the voters wanted. But we don’t know what that is.” The Humane Society of the United States, which largely bankrolled the Yes-on-2 campaign, is pushing the new bill.
Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society’s chief economist and its Sacramento lobbyist [and a co-author of SB861 BSL in CA] , said the bill would further the goal of getting more chickens out of what animal-rights groups contend are inhumane cages.
She also said the Humane Society is working with California producers to address questions about complying with Prop. 2. “The overwhelming support that Californians had for Prop. 2 sent a signal about what they think about the tradeoffs and risks associated with this kind of food production,” Fearing said.
Prop. 2 Fight: The battle over Prop. 2 drew attention and money from around the country.
Donors in Riverside and San Bernardino counties contributed more than $1 million of the nearly $9 million opponents raised. Supporters, led by the Humane Society, raised more than $10.3 million and filled the airwaves with graphic images of chickens in small cages and other animals purportedly being mistreated.
Opponents said the footage was “dubious and cynical.” Critics said Prop. 2 would significantly raise the price of eggs, something proponents disputed. The election was a rout.
Prop. 2. passed everywhere except in several Central Valley counties. Afterward, some critics started calling for splitting the state because “uneducated city dwellers” were dictating agricultural rules. There also were less strident conversations. Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, was among those who participated. Huffman authored AB 1437 and said his bill closes a “gaping hole” that would let out-of-state producers sell eggs to California consumers.
“I’m sure the industry would love to wake up tomorrow and not have Prop. 2 be the law of the land, but the voters spoke pretty loudly and clearly that they want these minimum anti-cruelty standards,” Huffman said. “This levels the playing field and gives effect to what the voters thought they were doing when they passed Prop. 2.”
The Assembly Agriculture Committee unanimously approved the bill last week. Besides Berryhill, a yes vote came from the panel’s chairwoman, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Merced, who last year rallied her colleagues to oppose Prop. 2 because she said it would eliminate hundreds of jobs.
For California’s egg industry, the new legislation offers potential pitfalls and rewards.
The bill could emerge as a vehicle for the industry to get clear guidance on what Prop. 2 requires. Or it could solidify the initiative’s legal position against any potential industry lawsuit.
The bill could lend momentum to congressional efforts to craft national animal-confinement standards. But any support by California producers’ for the legislation would put them sharply at odds with the national egg industry.
United Egg Producers, an Atlanta-based national industry group, did not respond to a request for comment on the California bill.
Pet Defense: Since HSUS has filed 5 lawsuits against the eggie people, they knew that would tie up funds. HSUS then quickly got this new Bill out this year. The eggie industry does NOT want anything to solidify the initiative’s legal position under any circumstances. Better to use the bad law they already passed, and then show that the law is far too onerous on production, far too vague to even comply, or in their ability to compete, or in any number of things. Just because the public voted for it doesn’t MAKE IT necessarily “workable” and we are not egg producers, and neither is HSUS.
But HSUS researched egg producers and then went and did it all backwards, going back to the early 1920’s and then making wonderful eye candy videos and got some vets to sign on, and playing on the emotions of people looking at pigs and calves in pens, people bought into the bill or law and voted. Rest assured that probably 99% of those voters don’t have a clue about egg production or what it entails.
If you own chickens or have worked with them, you will have a far better idea of what egg production means. 96% of eggs are NOT free range eggs. Hobbyists and small flock owners can control smaller numbers of chickens, BUT when one has 150,000 chickens, free range is like going back to 1920 in the egg production methodology. With egg prices going up, this will likely drive up the demand for chickens, as many more people these days are raising their own chickens for egg laying. HSUS will likely try and change laws so that owning chickens in the city will be difficult, as it is currently in Denver CO where chickens are livestock and it takes the same red tape to try and own a chicken as it would a mule. See Backyard chickens forum (on blogroll here.)
====>>> Think about it………..HSUS knew EXACTLY what the public would think. HSUS knew the general public knows nothing about chicken egg production. and this follow up bill is designed to further embolden HSUS litigation by making it appear that HSUS is about “being fair, helping chickens and cows” when in reality, the only reason HSUS is doing it, IS TO SET UP CASE PRECEDENT FOR THEIR ANIMAL RIGHTS LEGISLATION. I will say it again…………the only reason HSUS has both of these bills, where the second one could have easily been included with the FIRST one— was done on purpose.
Egg Prices Breaking
Records at Store
Updated: Thursday, 14 May 2009, 5:32 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 14 May 2009, 5:29 PM EDT
WASHINGTON – If you’ve been grocery shopping you already know, food prices are up, way up. The latest figures from the Labor Department say food prices are what is driving a huge jump in wholesale prices for the month of April.
The price of eggs is really breaking records. It jumped 43-point-7 per cent, the biggest monthly gain in at least 17 years.
Consumers are feeling the pinch and say they are looking for specials, using coupons and buying at cut-rate mega stores like Costco to save money. A spokesman for the Center for Consumer Freedom tells Fox 5 he thinks the push by animal rights groups for cage free eggs is driving up the cost. But an economist with the US Agriculture Department says egg prices are always more volatile with sharper swings than other retail foods. He says he’d have to look deeper into the numbers to explain the big April increase.
Really? Why does Pet Defense have trouble believing that.
This was an FYI re HSUS’ actions on the CA egg law debacle from JC Greene, CA—– one of the best advocates for NO anti-Pet laws!
Notice that this is direct evidence, just ONE month prior to HSUS slamming CA by NOT telling people that caged hens are more LESS succeptible to illness and mortality; could it BE that HSUS would rather the hens DIE instead, or suffer more disease instead?
Yep. Could it be that because HSUS claims that birds (and chickens) are walking salmonella time bombs (see WP blog on swine flu for his HSUS employee’s avian flu piece of National Enquirer type “Fear- in- the- Box” scare tactics article) We don’t put links to HSUS but it’s easy enough to find.
This is the evidence from JC Greene:
A Swedish study published in *January 2009* shows *increased hen mortality* and *increased hen illness* when housed in litter-based or free range type conditions —
– *From the study*: “Conclusion: The results of the present study indicated that during 2001–2004 laying hens housed in litter-based housing systems, with or without access to outdoor areas, were at higher risk of infectious diseases and cannibalistic behaviour compared to laying hens in cages.”
– *HSUS filed 5 lawsuits* to stop UC Davis researchers, egg farmers and the California egg industry from educating the voters about this and other issues (like cost).
AND——-according to the proposed regs for this fall 2009, regarding food stamps (low income) recipients—they won’t be able to BUY free range eggs ANY EGGS at all because small, medium, large, extra large, jumbo, free range, non caged, specialty, and even egg substitutes are not on the allowed list?
PD: Note: litter based housing is used for hen coops to contain the bird droppings and to control the air quality. This is standard for most non production hens or in smaller flocks. Large flocks can use these mthods as well, but require much more work because it is all manual labor to clean. Litter based housing has been used since at least the early 1900’s from what we understand.
Part of the reason that free range eggs are expensive is due to the labor required, and since it is not a modern method of chicken care, the birds are more open to whatever disease might be on the dirt, the ground, anywhere anyone has walked. Animals that may have traversed in the same area, people that may have disease on their shoes, it is not that different from the extra caution that bird owners (of parrots for example) must engage in for their pets.
HSUS knows all this, if you read the HSUS Avian Fear in the Box Article by the HSUS person on Whiney’s HSUS blog blurb on Swine flu, you can easily see that HSUS purposely wanted cage free chickens and could care less if the chickens might get more disease or die an early death [since chickens do kill each other.]
The obvious next HSUS step would be to FORCE all laying hens to be managed by a completely different system, which would require —as HSUS has proposed for DOG kennels—–new construction, new regulations, specifics such as how large, how tall, how wide, (blueprints) how many times it must be cleaned, with what specific tools, how much ventilation control (measured by an HVAC engineering firm), how many hours of light, how many hours of dark, how many eggs can be sold, how many damaged eggs must be accounted for,—maybe even eliminating or severely limiting roosters? since HSUS wants the sales of roosters severely limited? See how easy it is to construct bad laws? We just did that one in 30 seconds. Now imagine the free 10,000 legal hours HSUS gets pro bono. You get the picture????
We can guarantee, that HSUS will construct different laws that will try and take out dog/cat breeds, shows, exhibits and transfers within the next 2 years with heavily restricted, over the top, complex, expensive rules, laws, ordinances. Guaranteed. WELFARISTS AND ELITISTS—-WAKE UP. channel 2 Atlanta was the ONLY TV Station to EVER say the truth about HSUS. Word is that HSUS attorneys were stunned on Thursday when the news piece aired. Pass it forward!!! BAD LAWS ARE EASY TO DRAFT.