2011 Washington Ballot Initiative on egg-laying hens

The WSVMA is providing a page of information for its members that are interested in more detail about the ballot initiative process underway by the Humane Society of the United States and a newly formed group, Washingtonians for Humane Farming. The latter includes the language of the initiative.

April 5, 2011

Press Release - WSVMA Rejects Supporting Hen Cage Ban Initiative 

SNOQUALAMIE, Wash.—As a result of a unanimous vote, the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association does not support passage of Initiative-1130 should it make the November ballot. Read full story.

Frequently Asked Questions about Poultry Housing

Below are a number of resources provided by Dr. Ruth Newberry from WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Newberry is a member of the UEPs Scientific Advisory Committee. Access additional information about Dr. Newberry on the Livestock Welfare website.

Please note two important things that are occurring relative to this issue in Washington.

  1. HSUS’ signature collection process to place the proposed measure on the ballot for November 2011. Proponents must collect more than 242,000 verifiable signatures by July 1 to place the measure on the ballot for a vote.
  2. The industry’s response in the form of proposed legislation calling for egg producer certification are available here. The WSVMA supports this legislation. Read our letter of support.

The WSVMA believes its members are fully capable of examining objectively peer-reviewed scientific data, moral and ethical arguments, and advocacy statements made by either side of the argument.

Furthermore the WSVMA supports the following:

  • It’s members’ individual rights to choose and advocate as they wish on this or any other political issue concerning issues at the interface of human and animal interactions, even if that support is in opposition to WSVMA support.
  • The legislative process including the citizen initiative mechanism for introducing, arguing and making decisions that will become law or administrative regulation.
  • The association’s responsibility to all its members for the good of those members and the perpetuation of the association.

Other Resources

Facts About the Egg Production Process from the American Egg Board

Time Magazine:  Organic Eggs: More Expensive, but No Healthier

Range Egg Production; is it better than in cages?

Cage Free Egg Production in California: Economic Impact Predictions

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Organic Poultry Production in the United States

Stories of Applied Animal Behavior Cannibalism: Chicken Little Meets Hannibal Lector?

Housing Issues Continue to Dominate Europe's Egg Markets

LAYWEL: Welfare implications of changes in production systems for laying hens

CDC’s General information about Salmonella serotype Enteritidis

A modern layer facility in real time. This site features 24-hour, multiple webcams of confined poultry

Michigan State University is conducting research that examines both production and behavior in caged and cage-free housing systems

Willamette Egg Farm tour that includes both caged and cage-free production practices.

Australian video critical of all egg production produced by www.humanemyth.org

Video depicting a German supermarket chain’s conversion to cage-free production

Short documentary from the UK advocating cage-free systems which will be mandated by 2010 

Commercial Egg Production and Processing – Purdue University’s overview of typical layer management and commercial egg production in the United States

See list of food safety references.

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