General Assembly OKs bill that would outlaw battery cages for egg-laying hens
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly has passed legislation introduced by Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) that would prohibit the confinement of certain farm animals in a manner that prevents the animal from turning around freely, lying down, standing up or fully extending the animal’s limbs.
The measure (2018-H 7456A) which would make changes in the definitions of what constitutes unlawful confinement of any sow during gestation, calf raised for veal or egg-laying hen kept on a farm, now moves to the governor’s office.
“I have introduced this legislation for several years,” said Representative Serpa. “I am gratified that it has finally passed both the House and Senate. The practice of confining six to eight chickens in one small cage where they cannot even turn around or spread their wings is simply inhumane, and the practice needs to be outlawed. We would never tolerate seeing dogs or cats confined in this manner. The same rule of decency should apply to these birds.”
The legislation, which would go into effect in 2026, specifies that in the case of egg-laying hens, “fully extending the animal’s limbs” means fully spreading both wings without touching the side of an enclosure or other hens and having access to the amount of usable floor space per hen that complies with the 2016 edition of the United Egg Producers Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg Laying Flocks “Guidelines for Cage-Free Egg Production.”
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903