8,000 brown Leghorn and white Leghorn chickens roam about a cage-free aviary system barn at Hilliker's Ranch Fresh Eggs, a family business since 1942, in Lakeview, which has one barn converted to cage-free and other planned soon Friday, December 19, 2014. Photo Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Getty Images

Animals USA9. April 2021

Free the Hens! Egg Producers Go Cage-Free

A growing movement to free hens is happening across the United States, and the egg industry is slowly but surely transitioning towards cage-free hens, much to the delight of animal welfare lobbyists and nonprofits.

The Humane League, an animal welfare nonprofit lobbying food companies to change their standards, analyzed the data: in 2015, only 6% of US hens weren’t raised in cages. Today, the percentage reaches 29%. In other words, over 70 million hens went cage-free in six years.

Following years of campaigning, California became the first state to have a law on cage hens into effect, and cage-free eggs quadrupled in six years. The states of Michigan and Oregon soon followed in California’s footsteps. Utah recently became the 8th state to ban battery cages. Once the law is implemented in that state in 2025, some 5 million hens will be cage-free every year. The cage-free progress has now reached Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.


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