HSUS and NAEF Battle on Radio Over California Egg Law
Ken Klippen, National Association of Egg Farmers, and Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the U.S., battled it out over the radio KQED, San Francisco. Scott Shafer was the moderator and he included Sasha Khokha, Central Valley Bureau Chief with KQED from California, who could detail the new egg law. Klippen said the CA law is bad for both the chicken and the consumer. The welfare is not improved due to increased bones being broken when the chicken injures herself on the enhancements in the cages, nor is it improved when the population density is increased in the larger cage and the pecking order causes stress to those chickens lower on the pecking order. It will not be good for Consumers as California has seen a 100% price increase this past year coupled an increased incidence of bacterial contamination from the eggs laid in the nest boxes where manure may be accumulating. Quoting from the journal “Food Control”, the article submitted in April 2014 entitled “Microbiological Contamination of Shell Eggs Produced in Conventional and Free-Range Housing Systems” reported that conventional cages allow the feces to fall beneath the cages whereas free-range hens laid their eggs in nest boxes (and by extension Enhanced Colony Cages that provides nest boxes) thus explaining the higher pathogenic bacteria counts on the egg shells.
Pacelle said Klippen represented a marginal group of egg farmers who opposed the national egg bill whereas UEP, representing 90% of all egg farmers, supported a federal mandate. He also stated the chicken today can’t turn around in its cage. Klippen refuted the ability of the chicken to turn around saying “this is misinformation” being disseminated. As it related to the size of NAEF, Klippen noted we are a new association that is growing and has members coast-to-coast. Klippen added he used to work for UEP, and this new association has members of both organizations, but they keep a low profile to prevent being targeted by the animal activists.
The evolution of the egg production practices has resulted in today’s conventional cages, but the animal activists that are pressing for cage-free and free-range will revert back to production methods in practices decades ago, said Klippen.
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