NAEF Reaches Out to Massachusetts Dailies
A “Yes” Vote on Question 3 this November Will Not Improve Animal Welfare
(On August 16th, NAEF sent the following story to 35 daily newspapers in Massachusetts).
Massachusetts voters will have more to decide than the next U.S. President when they enter the voting booth on November 8. Question No. 3 is a minimum size requirement for farm animal containment that suggests a “yes vote” is better welfare while a “no vote” is more animal cruelty. This is false. The initiative began by requiring “certain farm animals (including egg-producing chickens) are able to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs.” Sounds reasonable, but chickens producing eggs today already have this ability. The pictures shown of chickens struggling in cages is no more typical of modern egg production than pictures of homeless in Boston is typical of living conditions in that city. The National Association of Egg Farmers wants the people in Massachusetts to know that it has been more than five decades since the modern system of producing eggs ensures that chickens have better health, produce more grade-A eggs, and prevent contamination of the eggs with dirt and manure on the ground. The width and height of the cage allows each chicken to stand up, sit down, turn around, and spread its wings. They will touch other chickens when they spread their wings, but this also happens when they are loose on the ground as they flock together. Chickens establish a pecking order among their flock, so reducing the number of birds in an enclosure such as the modern cages reduces the stress from pecking and thus improving the welfare. If this voter initiative passes in Massachusetts, it will be repeating the same mistakes in California when their initiative became law in 2015. Without improving the health and welfare of the chicken, egg prices rose more than 33% after the law’s implementation. Don’t be misled by the misinformed who really don’t want you to eat eggs anyway. Ask the farmer who really wants his hens to keep producing a safe and wholesome egg at reasonable prices.