October 14, 2014
Farmers interested in housing egg-producing chickens in cages too small for them to stand in have been dealt a blow.
A 2010 California law which goes into effect January 1, 2015 has been upheld by the US District Court. The law requires that all shelled eggs coming into California for resale must be produced by chickens which are offered a cage at least 116 square inches (per chicken).
This size, a bit smaller than a piece of legal paper, was decided upon in order to provide chickens such luxuries as room to stand, to turn around and to spread their wings. Currently, industry standard is a mere 67 square inches, only slightly larger than say, a square that is eight inches by eight inches.
Many believed 116 square inches was too much to ask. Who do these chickens think they are, anyway?
A few states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma and Kentucky took their dissent to court. They believe that this new law is contrary to a passed 2008 ballot measure by imposing unfairly new requirements onto out-of-state farmers.
Republican Governor of Iowa Terry Branstad said of the ruling “…I think it’s so blatant and so obviously unconstitutional that eventually it’s not going to stand. It can’t stand. It goes against the very tenets of the constitution of the United States.”
Apparently Iowa takes eggs very seriously. And why shouldn’t they? They are the top egg-producer nationwide. And the top importer? California, at a staggering 9% of the import market. So a ruling like this will have a huge potential to setback egg farmers money, in addition to making many chickens relatively more comfortable.
The Iowa State Daily reports that each new cage will run about $26, costing Iowa a collective $100 million or so. That translates to roughly 4 million chickens living the good life…or at least the somewhat less cramped one.
John Rosenbaum is an Laguna Hills workers compensation and personal injury attorney who is known for his incredibly high success rate over a career which has surpassed 3 decades. If you are in need of legal advice or action in Orange County, California then John is the man to see.