Rhode Island, Farm Animal-Protection Bill Needs Your Help
Update—July 13, 2018: Good news, Rhode Island! After years of trying, the bill to ban battery cages finally passed. The Governor declined to act on H. 7456, which means the bill automatically becomes law. Thank you to all of you who spoke up on this important issue.
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.
H. 7456 will phase out these cruel cages for egg-laying hens by 2026 and 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).