A Cruel Betrayal of Animals—and Massachusetts Voters
Almost five years ago, Massachusetts voters overwhelming approved—with a nearly 78 percent majority—a ballot measure (Question 3) to ensure that each egg-laying hen be provided no less than 1.5 square feet of floor space. Although still a meager amount of space, it’s an important step in the right direction.
But now, the egg industry is pushing for legislation that would repeal the 1.5 square foot standard and allow hens confined in multi-tier egg factories to be provided with a cruel one square foot of floor space per bird. This would cut hens’ living space by a third and enable the industry to pack 50% more hens into egg factories than our voter-enacted law allows.
The egg industry, and a few co-opted animal groups, are attempting to justify this drastic reduction in living space for hens by falsely claiming that their legislation is an “enhancement” to the law. What they are actually attempting is the outright repeal of the law’s central and most important provision. Moreover, egg-industry executives have now morphed into Chicken Little, issuing a bevy of alarmist and misleading claims alleging that our current voter-enacted law will result in egg shortages and astronomical increases in egg prices. We have heard all of this before, and none of it is true.
In fact, when originally promoting Question 3 in 2016, the Humane Society of the U.S. repeatedly noted that the supply of eggs would remain plentiful and that the new voter-approved standard would only add a few cents to the price of a dozen eggs. But, now, due to an unholy alliance with the egg industry, the flip-flopping Humane Society and MSPCA have completely changed their tune.
Contact your legislators today!
Humane Farming Association (HFA)
“This cruel legislation would be the first time in U.S. history that a voter-enacted ballot initiative is repealed by the legislature in order to allow factory farms to increase the overcrowding of farm animals.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
“Beware! These bills are being painted in rosy terms, but don’t be fooled… What they would actually do is allow factory farms to keep egg-laying hens in crowded sheds with only 1 square foot of space per bird.”
Friends of Animals (FOA)
“These bills should be fiercely opposed by everyone who cares about animals. HSUS’s collusion with the egg industry is disturbing. While falsely claiming to “upgrade” the law, these rotten egg bills would dramatically overcrowd and worsen conditions for hens.”
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals—and Election Integrity at Stake
The Massachusetts Constitution gives the electorate—the voters—the right to establish public laws and policies. It is vital that the legislature uphold the will of the voters.
If either H. 864 or S. 36 is passed:
- Election results and the will of Massachusetts voters will be completely disregarded.
- The egg industry would be incentivized to construct multi-level egg factories that provide hens with a mere one square foot of floor space.
- This would allow the industry to crowd 50% more hens into egg factories than allowed under our current voter-enacted law.
Whether you personally voted for Question 3 or not, every citizen should be outraged that the egg industry is trying to overturn election results. The egg industry’s back-door effort, if successful, would be a major betrayal of Massachusetts voters and a devastating setback to the protection of farm animals.
Please Act Today!
Time is of the essence. If you live in Massachusetts, please use this link to contact your state legislators to OPPOSE H. 864 (Cahill) and S. 36. (Lewis).
Factory Farming at its Worst
Sponsored by The Humane Farming Association (HFA.org)
Campaign Against Factory Farming