Washingtonians for Humane Farms is hoping to place a statewide measure on November’s ballot that would prevent the abuse of egg-laying hens by requiring farmers to ensure that the birds have enough room to turn around and extend their wings.
The organization says about 6 million egg-laying hens in Washington spend their entire lives inside cages where each hen has less space than an 8 1/2" by 11" sheet of paper.
Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization, says farm animals deserve to be protected from cruelty.
“Treating egg laying hens like inanimate tools of production and packing them in cages where they can’t even flap their wings is inhumane and it should be illegal," he said.
Michigan and California have passed laws to phase out the use of cages to confine hens. In 2008, California voters adopted Prop 2 by 66 percent of the vote. Major food manufacturers, including Kraft, Safeway, Denny's, Quizno's and Red Robin, now use cage-free eggs.
The Humane Society of the United State says their recent investigation revealed animal welfare and food safety issues at the country's largest egg producer.