The California Legislature should enact clear standards for housing egg-laying hens, according to the Association of California Egg Farmers (ACEF).
The request is designed to more clearly define mandates in Proposition 2, a ballot measure Californians approved last year. The ballot initiative places new mandates on how egg farmers house egg-laying hens.
ACEF says the initiative language is vague and California egg farmers are unsure of how much space hens are required to have to comply with Proposition 2.
"California egg farmers respect the voters' desire to give egg-laying hens more space,” says Debbie Murdock, ACEF executive director. “The question now is how much space?"
"Our farmers need clear-cut housing standards to determine how they can comply with the law and to continue to humanely produce fresh, local, and affordable eggs in California under Proposition 2," Murdock says.
Serious consequences for non-compliance of the law can include fines of up to $1,000 per violation and/or a jail sentence of up to six months for egg farmers and their employees.
The Association of California Egg Farmers (ACEF) is a non-profit statewide trade association representing the state's egg producers. The egg farmers have 19.4 million egg-laying hens producing 4.9 billion eggs annually, making California the fifth largest egg producer in the country.