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Oregon Caged Hens Measure (2012)

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An Oregon Caged Hens Measure, also known as Initiative 20, did not make on the November 2012 statewide ballot in the state of Oregon as an initiated state statute.

The proposed initiative 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. At the time the initiative was filed, an estimated 67 square inches were allotted to each hen.[1]

The initiative was dropped after the Humane Society of the United States made a national agreement with the egg industry on July 7, 2011.[2] "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.[3] 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.[4]


Legislative proposal

A similar proposal, Senate Bill 805, was sent to the Gov. John Kitzhaber in early June 2011. The bill, sponsored by Senate President Peter Courtney, required Oregon farmers to use an "enriched colony-cage system." The system doubled or in some cases tripled the space for each hen. According to reports, the bill was supported by the Oregon Humane Society, not by the Humane Society of the United States.[5][6] The bill was signed on June 17, 2011.


The main proponent was a group called Oregonians for Humane Farms. This included support by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), ASPCA and the Center for Food Safety.[1] The measure is also supported by Farm Sanctuary. HSUS and Farm Sanctuary were supporters of a similar measure in the State of Washington - Initiative 1130.[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon signature requirements

In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters were required to collect a minimum of 87,213 valid signatures by July 6, 2012. However, first supporters had to collect 1,000 signatures in order to qualify for a ballot title.

See also

Suggest a link

Similar measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Washington Farm Animal Cruelty Prevention, Initiative 1130 (2011)

External links

Additional reading