Rhode Island, Farm Animal-Protection Bill Needs Your Help
Rhode Island banned the cruel confinement of veal calves and mother pigs in 2012, and already requires that other farm animals be given adequate space for movement and normal posture. In fact, the state even requires regular exercise for confined cows, camels, alpacas and equines. Yet despite these advances, Rhode Island still permits the use of conventional hen confinement systems known as “battery cages.”
Most egg-laying hens in the United States live out their lives in these tiny, wire cages roughly the size of a file drawer, housed in long, windowless sheds. With up to 10 hens packed together in a single cage, the confined birds can’t even spread their wings—and these poor conditions increase the potential for disease and foodborne illness, like salmonella, to spread.
The Rhode Island General Assembly is considering H. 6023, legislation that would phase out these cruel cages for egg-laying hens. If passed, H.6023 would require that each egg-laying hen be provided with at least one foot of floor space, allowing them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their wings without touching the side of an enclosure (or other birds).
Unfortunately, the House Environment Committee amended the bill to remove the provision that would have also held all producers of veal, pork and egg products sold in Rhode Island to more humane confinement standards.
What You Can Do
The clock is ticking: H.6023 must advance by the end of June or it will die. Help us ensure it passes on the House and Senate floors by taking these two actions today:
1. Call your state representative and state senator in Providence and urge them to support H.6023. If you don’t know who represents you in the General Assembly, you can find your legislators' names and phone numbers here.
2. Use the form below to send a follow-up email to your state legislators with the same message of support. Be sure to personalize your message to let them know why farm animal welfare is important to you!
Thank you, Rhode Island.