Massachusetts: Upgrade Welfare Standards for Hens

MA S.2481—Cage-Free Egg Upgrade
ASPCA Position: Support
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways and Means

Update—December 23, 2021: Great news! This Massachusetts cage-free legislation passed the Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker. It ensures specific cage-free standards for hens that include areas for them to perch, dust bathe, scratch, and lay eggs in a nest. Thank you for your help, advocates.

In 2016, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed Question 3—an Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals—which, starting in 2022, will prohibit the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens, mother pigs, and calves raised for veal, as well as ban the sale of products from animals kept in these inhumane conditions. Massachusetts advocates like you have already made it clear that you’re against cruelty and want better lives for farm animals.

Since the passage of Question 3 four years ago, leading food companies and several other states have mandated even stronger welfare standards for egg-laying hens. S.2481 would upgrade the standards passed in Question 3 to keep up with these developments and expand the law to include the sale of liquid egg products, which make up the majority of what is used in restaurants and institutional food service.

Not only will this result in higher cage-free standards for hens, but it will provide enrichments so hens can engage in vital natural behaviors, like perching and dust-bathing. S.2481 is an opportunity to strengthen the law and improve the lives of millions of birds!