Earlier this year, Rep. Kurt Schraeder (D-OR, and the only veterinarian in the Congress) introduced the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments (HR 3798) that outlines a ban on the use of barren battery cages on egg factory farms nationwide. In addition to providing hens with more living space and environmental enrichments such as perches, nesting areas, and scratching areas so hens can engage in more natural behaviors, it also mandates that all egg cartons sold in the U.S. include a label that clearly identifies the method of production (i.e. “Eggs from Caged Hens”).
Last November, we told you about a case being heard in the U.S. Supreme Court about whether or not California could enforce a state-level law to protect slaughter-bound pigs who were too sick or injured to walk. This law requires the humane euthanasia of “nonambulatory” or “downed” pigs, preventing them from being poked, prodded, or otherwise forced through the slaughter line. While federal law prevents the slaughter of “downed” cows, California is the only state to extend these protections to pigs.
Currently in the US, more than 250 million egg-laying hens are suffering inside tiny wire cages so small, they’re denied the ability to engage in some of their most natural behaviors, including walking. With virtually no laws to protect them, these smart and social animals are subjected to some of the worst abuses imaginable and are routinely treated in ways that would result in criminal prosecution if those same abuses were inflicted upon cats or dogs. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to expose the rotten truth of egg production and promote compassionate food choices.
Last week, COK — represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund — filed a lawsuit against the California-based Cal-Cruz Hatcheries for unlawful business practices relating to undercover COK video footage documenting shockingly cruel conditions forced upon newly-hatched chicks. The complaint aims to stop the ongoing abuse of baby birds at this facility which hatches chicks destined to be slaughtered for their meat.
Last year, you may recall that four states–Florida, Iowa, Minnesota and New York– introduced so-called “ag gag” bills aimed at shutting down the efforts of animal protection organizations to go undercover to investigate factory farms and document the miserable conditions forced upon billions of farmed animals. While these state bills varied in content and scope, they were all supported by animal agribusiness and the mission was clear: keep animal cruelty hidden from public view by criminalizing the filming or photographing of an agricultural facility without the owner’s express consent.
Compassion Over Killing is teaming up with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) to represent us in a lawsuit filed today against Cal-Cruz Hatcheries. The complaint, filed in the California Superior Court, seeks to stop the alleged ongoing abuse of baby birds inside this Santa Cruz-based chicken hatchery that was exposed in the media in 2010 for shocking cruelty to animals as documented by a COK investigation.
Oral arguments began yesterday at the U.S. Supreme Court over whether the state of California has the legal authority to enforce a state law meant to end the suffering of slaughter-bound pigs who are too sick or weak to walk.
Late last month, we announced that COK uncovered yet more unethical behavior by dairy industry giants. Our initial research led to a class action lawsuit, filed by Hagens Bergan on behalf of consumers, accusing several dairy industry groups of working collectively to implement a $9.5 billion price-fixing scheme that involved killing 500,000 young cows in order to inflate the price of milk nationwide.
In an historic agreement reached today by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP), these long-time adversaries will work cooperatively to enact the first-ever federal law related
to the treatment of chickens. It would also be the first federal law related to the on-farm treatment of animals raised for food.