Maryland: Take a Stand Against Cruel Confinement of Hens

Brown Chickens in battery cages
MD S.B. 690—Bans Cruel Confinement of Laying Hens
ASPCA Position: Support
Sponsor: Senator Lewis Young

Update—July 12, 2023: A state bill that would end the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens in Maryland was unable to cross the finish line this year. We will continue working to protect hens from lifelong cruelty and ensure that Maryland residents can easily access more humanely produced eggs. 

Next session, Maryland needs to pass legislation to require that eggs produced or sold in the state come from hens raised in cage-free systems with enough room to spread their wings, explore and carry out natural behaviors like perching and nesting. This is a critical step towards building a kinder, more humane food system.

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Many egg-laying hens in industrial factory farms are confined in small, wire “battery cages” where they spend their days suffering. As many as 10 hens may be crowded together in one battery cage, leaving each bird with about as much space as a single sheet of paper.

In these systems, battery cages are stacked on top of each other in rows as far as the eye can see—sometimes as long as football fields! Birds languish every day in the waste falling from hens in the cages above them.

There’s a solution. The Maryland General Assembly has the power to ban inhumane battery cages, aligning Maryland with 14 other states that have already banned cruel farm animal confinement in some form.

For more actions you can take to help animals, join the ASPCA Mobile Action Team! We'll keep you informed of important, breaking news for animals in Maryland and beyond.