What If the National Egg Law Had Passed?
While some in the egg industry continue to press for enhanced colony cages, this research shown below gives those pause for thought. Imagine if the national egg bill had passed and the amount of space nearly doubled for each hen WITH MINIMAL WELFARE BENEFIT? Does anyone honestly believe the animal activists would have left the egg industry alone if the national egg bill had passed? When the European Union enacted their law on January 1, 2012, it didn't stop the animal activists from seeking more reforms. The goal of the activists isn't a "touchdown" but just "moving the ball a few yards further down the field". Will the egg industry finally wake up to these goals?
USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announced on June 6th the completion of a funded research project at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, which examined the impact of stocking density on enriched colony cages. This study shows a minimal impact on welfare in a comparison between 72 sq. in. per bird and 144 sq. in. per bird. A complete report, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website, www.uspoultry.org.
Project #670: Enriched Colony Cages: Stocking Density on Laying Hen Well-being
(Dr. Darrin Karcher and Dr. Maja Makagon, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.)
Dr. Darrin Karcher and Dr. Maja Makagon at Michigan State University studied the impact of stocking density on egg production and the well-being of laying hens in enriched colony cages. The researchers found minimal differences in measures of production and well-being at the various stocking densities, from 464 cm2 (72 sq. in) to 929 cm2 (144 sq. in.) per bird during the period of 17 to 69 weeks of age, and suggest that future research should focus to determine at which point stocking density provides a significant impact on feathering.