As a third-generation, family-owned farm, Willamette Egg Farms has consistently been a forerunner in helping define high standards in the egg industry. That is why we are proud to announce our continued support for the federal legislation introduced to Congress in early 2012. The new legislation will raise the national standards for humane housing and care of egg-laying hens. As a longtime supporter of modernized standards in the Northwest and a member of the United Egg Producers, our farm is already working toward meeting these standards. We are committed to providing excellent hen care and producing the finest quality eggs for years to come.
According to United Egg Producers, the proposed legislation would:
- Require conventional cages (currently used by more than 90 percent of the egg industry) to be replaced, through an ample phase-in period, with new, enriched housing systems that provide each hen nearly double the amount of space they’re currently allotted;
- Require that all egg-laying hens be provided, through the new enriched housing system, with environments that will allow hens to express natural behaviors, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas;
- Mandate labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as “eggs from caged hens,” “eggs from hens in enriched cages,” “eggs from cage-free hens,” and “eggs from free-range hens;”
- Prohibit feed- or water-withholding molting to extend the laying cycle, a practice already prohibited by the United Egg Producers Certified program adhered to by a majority of egg farmers;
- Require standards approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for euthanasia for egg laying hens; prohibit excessive ammonia levels in hen houses;
- Prohibit the sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these requirements.