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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Momentum Builds for Hen Welfare Legislation

HenI wrote a round-up in March of some of the nation’s largest newspapers that have published editorials endorsing H.R. 3798 to improve the treatment of 280 million laying hens in the egg industry, and calling on Congress to pass the legislation swiftly. Now, the Senate bill has been introduced, S. 3239, by Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and a group of bipartisan co-sponsors, and several more newspapers have weighed in on the proposed measure, including the following:

Chicago Tribune: “It's a small but important step, and it deserves to be enacted….The virtue of federal legislation is that it sets a minimum standard of care for animals while sparing responsible producers from the threat of being undercut on price by less scrupulous competitors.”
Arizona Republic: “House Resolution 3798…is a compromise that responds to the concerns about animals with requirements that the egg producers can accept. In today's hyperpolarized world, that's not just a victory. It's an example of the way things should work.”
Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee and Merced Sun-Star: “Two former antagonists have come together to push for a national standard for the humane treatment of chickens raised for their eggs. The plan is a reasonable compromise and we hope they are successful in getting it through Congress—a place where too many people don't seem too interested in finding common ground these days.”

In this era of polarizing issues and divided partisanship, it’s rare when a diverse group of stakeholders representing varied interests all agree on the right pathway forward. That’s what we have with the hen bill, as animal protection groups, the egg industry, veterinary groups, consumer groups, and others are all advocating for this policy. The nation needs this kind of problem solving, and the Congress should enthusiastically embrace a reform that has the support of all the affected parties.

Please add your voice by calling your two U.S. Senators today at (202) 224-3121 and asking them to support and co-sponsor S. 3239. After you’ve made your calls, please follow up by sending them an email. I’ve listed below some of the key endorsers of the legislation, and you can also take a look at the full list of supporters.

Animal Protection Groups:
The Humane Society of the United States
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
American Humane Association
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Compassion In World Farming
Compassion Over Killing
Farm Sanctuary
The Humane League
Humane Society Legislative Fund
In Defense of Animals
Mercy for Animals
National Federation of Humane Societies
World Society for the Protection of Animals
Marin County Humane Society
Sacramento SPCA
SPCA for Monterey County
Dumb Friends League
Brown County Humane Society
Animal Welfare Society
Kalamazoo Humane Society
Michigan Humane Society
Animal Humane Society
Humane Society of Charlotte
SPCA Cincinnati
Oregon Humane Society
Humane Society of Berks County
SPCA of Texas
Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society
Washington Humane Society
Richmond SPCA

Agriculture and Egg Producer Groups:
United Egg Producers
Arkansas Egg Council
Association of California Egg Farmers
Colorado Egg Producers Association
Florida Poultry Federation, Inc.
Georgia Egg Association
Michigan Agri-Business Association
Michigan Allied Poultry Industries
New England Brown Egg Council
North Carolina Egg Association
Ohio Egg Processors Association
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Veterinary Groups:
American Association of Avian Pathologists
Association of Avian Veterinarians
American Veterinary Medical Association
Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

Consumer and Faith Groups:
Center for Food Safety
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Consumer Federation of America
National Consumers League
Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness

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