Proposed New National Standards, Along with Suspension of Ballot Measures in Oregon and Washington, Will Allow for Faster Adoption of Enriched Colony Housing
CANBY, Ore. – July 7, 2011 –Willamette Egg Farms (WEF), a leading Northwest egg producer, is enthusiastically supportive of today’s historic animal welfare agreement signed by United Egg Producers (UEP) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The agreement, which comes on the heels of unprecedented state-level hen welfare legislation in Oregon (SB 805) and Washington (SB 5487), will spur comprehensive new federal legislation and suspend ballot measure initiatives in both states.
Key components of the agreement include the national adoption of Enriched Colony Housing, which nearly doubles the space allotment for hens, along with providing hens the ability to express natural behaviors, such as perching, nesting and scratching. (For more information, contact UEP: 404-367-2761.)
“We are beyond pleased that United Egg Producers has found common ground with HSUS,” says Greg Satrum, co-owner of Willamette Egg Farms. “We’ve been working with Northwest legislators and animal welfare organizations, including Oregon Humane Society and American Humane Association, for the past year on hen welfare standards for Oregon and Washington. With this agreement, and the threat of costly state ballot measures off the table, we can now focus our energy on early adoption of the new standards.”
The proposed new national standards are similar to the recently passed legislation in Oregon and Washingtonthat requires adoption of American Humane Association-endorsed Enriched Colony Housing. WEF strongly supportedboth SB 805 and SB 5487.
“The industry-wide agreement to commit to pursuing national standards is key for early adoption,” notes Satrum. “A uniform national standard would remove the guesswork and potential liabilities of investing in new systems that might later be banned by ballot initiatives. Now that UEP and HSUS are in agreement, wecan be a lot more confident moving forward with the significant financial investment required to adopt the new standards.”
WEF anticipates the transition to Enriched Colony Housing at its Oregon and Washington farms will represent potentiallya $50 million investment over the next 15 to 18 years.