Coalition Formed to Oppose Egg Bill03 May 2013
US - Egg Farmers of America, a coalition of egg farmers and supporters throughout the US, are opposed to the Egg Bill (S820 and HR1731) for many reasons including the resultant farm foreclosures similar to the EU experience when they implemented a law for production standards 1 January 2012.
While UEP claims the legislation will protect family farms, already family farmers know they cannot get the needed financing to replace their conventional cages with enriched ones.
Furthermore the transitional rate for compliance benefits the larger egg farmers with multiple complexes, and hurts the smaller family farms and contract producers with one or two buildings that would have to convert completely when making the change to enriched colony cages.
Egg Farmers of America also recognize the preliminary findings from the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply conducting research on different housing systems for layers.
They have some preliminary findings from three different areas from Flock One.
- The mortality was highest in the aviary system (11.6 per cent) and lowest in conventional system (4.7 per cent). The higher mortality was due to behavioral issues associated with excessive pecking.
- The birds in the enriched systems experienced more broken wings.
- There was a higher incidence of keel bone (breast bone) deviations in the enriched and aviary systems.
- Conventional and enriched houses had very good indoor air quality.
- The aviary system had ammonia levels that tended to be 1.5 to 2 times higher due to the manure litter on the floor. This resulted in 8-10 times more dust due to dust bathing and scratching.
- For overall costs, the aviary had the highest cost of production, followed by the enriched, and then the conventional.
Egg Farmers of America are joining forces with the major national animal agriculture groups to oppose the Egg Bill recently introduced in the House and Senate.
As to the “patchwork of state laws” used as an excuse by UEP in justifying this “one-size fits all” approach through federal legislation, Egg Farmers of America have come out in support of Rep. Steve King’s “Protecting Interstate Commerce Act” (PICA) that passed the House Agriculture Committee last July in their Farm Bill. The basis of this bill is to protect the interstate commerce of agricultural products so that no one state can impose restrictions on agricultural commodities from another state such as preventing shipping eggs from the Midwest into California. The legislation does not prevent the Humane Society of the US from continuing to press for state referendums and voter initiatives. The PICA, according to Egg Farmers of America, is the better legislation rather than joining forces with animal activists whose intent is to reduce the consumption of meat, milk and eggs from the American diet.
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