Deal forged, chicken cage ballot initiatives dropped in Washington and Oregon
Efforts were dropped after the Humane Society of the United States made a national agreement with the egg industry on July 7, 2011. "We're suspending the Washington and Oregon ballot measures and putting our energies into passing a federal law that would help hundreds of millions of birds as opposed to fewer than 10 million birds in Washington and Oregon," said Paul Shapiro, Humane Society spokesperson.
According to reports, supporters of the Washington initiative collected an estimated 350,000 signatures, exceeding the minimum requirement. The measure would have adopted new rules for egg-laying hens in Washington.
A similar initiative in Oregon was also dropped in light of the national agreement. It would have mandated more room for egg-laying hens. Specifically, the measure would have required 1 1/2 square feet of space per hen by 2019.
Together with the United Egg Producers, the Humane Society plans to seek a bill based on the agreement. The proposed legislation includes: eliminating battery-style cages by 2029 across the nation; requiring that egg cartons be labeled with information about the living conditions of the hens.