A cage is a cage. The only things being "enriched" are commercial egg factories. Read more.
A Veterinarian’s Perspective on
Battery cages are the most unhealthful and distressing means of keeping hens for egg production. Disease conditions such as “cage layer fatigue” and bone fractures due to lack of exercise are major medical issues and are associated with physical pain and suffering.
These are due largely to a lack of meaningful exercise such as flying and running. Depriving hens of important behaviors such as dust bathing or perching well above floor level, a quiet place to lay eggs, proper and adequate exercise, and the opportunity to form social groups of their choosing all have a major negative impact on their quality of life.
The increase in cage size dictated by the proposed legislation, unfortunately, will have no meaningful positive impact on these issues. Hens will still not be able to get proper exercise, they still will be too crowded to even properly stretch their wings, perches will be at an ineffectual height, and nest boxes will not be conducive to the needs for laying eggs.What the proposed legislation will do, however, is keep the confinement of hens in cages legal, something that no humane-minded individual should accept.
The cages defined by the legislation will in no meaningful way reduce the unimaginable suffering endured by the hens but will be used by the industry as a means of defending this indefensible practice.
Even if this legislation passes without amendments, the situation would be worse for the hens because it would be setting a disastrous precedent; battery cages would be codified in federal law.
I urge people not to support this legislation: it is intolerable for the hens and will be obstructive to getting any meaningful reform in the future. The only tolerable “step in the right direction” is to insist on getting rid of the cages entirely.
- Nedim C. Buyukmihci, V.M.D.