The Oregonian is reporting that this week Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs a new law. The law requiring all eggs sold in the state must come from cage-free hens by 2024. That’s going to cost Oregon consumers. The Humane Society of the United States is egg-static.
It’s turkey discrimination
The egg heads at Human Society of the United States announced that “with Oregon’s new law, the entire West Coast region of the United States now has the strongest laws in the world for egg-laying hens.” Egg-zactly correct. And the turkeys are demonstrating about the discrimination.
How fair is that?
The law mandates how farms with more than 3,000 hens will be operated. Those operations must provide a cage-free housing system, and enrichments. The enrichments must include, at a minimum, scratch areas, perches, nest boxes and dust bathing areas. Violation of the new law can result in a fine of up to $2,500. Why does the law discriminate by size? How is that fair?
The Oregonian noted that a handful of other states have similar cage-free laws. Those states include California, Massachusetts, and Washington. Each is a bastion of commonsense economic approach farm production.
Massachusetts egg heads
In 2017, thirteen states got egg-cited and sued to block Massachusetts’ cage free ban. The states were claiming it was unconstitutional. Massachusetts requires all eggs sold in the state must come from cage-free hens regardless of production location.
It is hard to understand how the Massachusetts law does not run a fowl of Interstate Commerce provisions. Why does Massachusetts get to regulate Texas or Nebraska’s egg production? Why isn’t the Massachusetts law unfair restraint of trade? We can be sure a Harvard lawyer spent valuable time on a constitutional defense of the law.
According to the Texas Farm Bureau, the egg-producing states fighting Massachusetts argued cage-free laws “have cost U.S. consumers up to $350 million in higher egg costs.”
If you live in Massachusetts and you want to save on eggs… shop New Hampshire.