Missouri Must Build Roomier Henhouses

Posted on February 24, 2014

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As far as eggs, hens and cages go, Missouri has got it wrong.

California passed a law that will not permit egg-laying hens be held in cramped cages that barely allowing them to move. The law goes into effect in 2015, and it requires all egg farms in that state to provide hens with space to stand up, lie down, turn around freely and fully extend their limbs.

A complimentary law passed in 2010 requires all out-of-state farmers to comply with these regulations if they want to sell eggs in California.

Guess what? Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster asked a U.S. District Court in California to declare that law invalid and to stop it from being enforced because, he says, “It violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.” Californians buy about a third of all eggs produced in Missouri.

Missouri egg producers will be forced to comply with California law if they want to sell eggs in that state. Selling eggs in California would add great expense for Missouri farmers.

In the lawsuit it states: “California is attempting to regulate agricultural practices beyond its own borders.”

It appears to me that Missouri Attorney General is meddling in another state’s affairs. Missouri egg producers have a choice: either they stop mistreating hens or they build better hen houses in order to sell eggs in California. In fact, I believe Missouri needs to pass similar laws regulating egg production.

Missouri should drop its lawsuit which will not go anywhere, and concentrate on building roomier hen houses.

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