Uphold Laws Protecting Hens


Target: California Legislators

Goal: Uphold legislation banning the use of inhumane battery cages and the sale of eggs from battery caged hens

In recent years California has enacted legislation meant to provide a higher quality of life for the state’s egg-laying hens. Proposition 2 and AB 1437 aim to force California’s egg producing companies to adopt more humane treatment of their hens. Several companies are currently challenging these laws. We need to encourage California legislators to uphold the laws and dismiss the challenges.

According to the Humane Society, egg-producing companies “cram more than 90 percent of the country’s 280 million egg-laying hens into barren cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings.” These battery cages are incredibly inhumane and the hens who live in them endure great and constant suffering throughout their lives. In addition to the horrid physical pains caused by life in tiny cages, these hens also suffer mental and behavioral strains. Like all animals, hens have the right and need to engage in their own innate behaviors. One such behavior is dust bathing, in which hens roll around in the dust in order to clean themselves and to remove parasites. It is cruel to deny any animal the right to indulge in such instinctive, self-nourishing acts.

Proposition 2 and AB 1437 ban the use of battery cages by California companies as well as the sale of eggs that come from battery cages. The laws demand that egg-producing companies provide bigger cages for their hens, alleviating suffering by providing them with room to maneuver and to engage in innate behaviors like dust bathing, preening, nesting, and perching. The laws gave companies until the beginning of 2015 to fully comply with the new legal standards. In lieu of full compliance, however, many companies have instead challenged the laws in court.

Battery cages are incredibly inhumane. They cause physical and mental suffering, and they violate the basic animal rights of hens. With the enactments of Proposition 2 and AB 1437, California proclaimed to the nation that such animal cruelty is unacceptable. Please sign the petition below to encourage California legislators to uphold these laws when challenged in court.


Dear California Legislators,

I was disheartened to hear of recent legal challenges to Proposition 2 and AB 1437. The enactment of these laws was a great step forward for animal rights and a boon to the quality of life for California hens. Most hens on egg-laying factory farms are confined to battery cages, which are not big enough to allow hens to engage in innate behaviors like preening and dust bathing. Hens who live and lay eggs in these cages endure untold suffering throughout their lives. Banning the use of battery cages as well as the sale of eggs from battery caged hens are actions all states need to take in order to protect hens and to promote animal welfare in general.

By passing and upholding these laws California has sent a bold message to the rest of the nation: animal welfare matters. I encourage you to continue to uphold Proposition 2 and AB 1437 and to dismiss any and all challenges to them.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Maqi at Wikimedia Commons

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