The Senate Agriculture Committee heard arguments for and against a bill that would set uniform standards for the treatment of egg-laying hens and egg labeling. The bill is based on a compromise between the United Egg Producers (UEP), which represents 90 percent of the industry by volume, and the Humane Society of the United States.
The provisions include phasing in larger cages for hens over the next 18 years. The bill would also regulate the labeling of egg cartons to give consumers more information about the animals that produced their eggs.
Farmers in favor of the bill described it as vital to the future stability of the industry, while a witness opposed to the measure said it would force many smaller egg farmers to leave the business. Sheep, beef and pork producers are also opposed to the bill as they are concerned that it will set a precedent that will ultimately affect them.
Reprinted in part from The Hill