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  • Egging on the Regulators: Farmers Face Threat of Red Tape

    Pork producers are speaking out against legislation that would give federal regulators the authority to mandate cage sizes for egg-laying hens. They’re worried it could lead to a slippery slope that increases red tape for farmers on a range of issues.

    The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), would impose costs between $4 billion and $10 billion on farm production, according to industry estimates. The legislation requires conventional cages to be replaced with new colony housing for hens — about double their normal size.

    Among the bill’s other requirements: All egg-laying hens would be provided with perches, nesting boxes and scratching areas, and all egg cartons would need to be labeled to inform consumers about the method of production. It also prohibits the transportation of eggs that don’t meet the bill’s requirements.

    The NPPC has dubbed it the “Farm Takeover Bill” for giving the government control over how farmers raise egg-laying hens. The legislation is backed by the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers — odd bedfellows whose agenda involves greater regulatory authority from the federal government.

    Proponents of the bill claim the regulations would improve the lives of hundreds of millions of egg-laying hens.

    “We are committed to working together for the good of the hens in our care and believe a national standard is far superior than a patchwork of state laws and regulations that would be cumbersome for our customers and confusing to consumers,” said Bob Krouse, chairman of UEP and an Indiana egg farmer.

    Opponents, however, have said the regulations would stifle the egg production industry by creating a one-size-fits-all approach. Cost estimates range from $4 billion to $10 billion.

    At this week’s Bloggers Briefing at Heritage, the NPPC’s Chris Wall outlined the implications of new federal regulations. He said it was inspired the Humane Society’s quest to create a national regulation on par with states such as California.

    “It’s another example of California passing bad state policy and trying to turn it into bad federal policy,” Wall said. “If they are successful here, then you can strike out the word egg and insert any other commodity.”

    Wall warned that farmers of all products should be aware of what’s at stake.

    “These additional regulations keep people from coming back to the farm,” Wall said. “We’re next on their hit list. So if they’re successful with eggs then it will be the pork bill next, which is why we care.”

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Egging on the Regulators: Farmers Face Threat of Red Tape

    1. Bobbie says:

      "The good of the hens in our care????" Gee, what did the hens do before Bob Krause and his egg laying ideas? For what purpose is the imposition? Cumbersome to customers and confusing to consumers?! What the heck does that mean? Where's the history of "cumbersome customers?" confused egg consumers? Another slap in the face with a kick to demean the American intelligence.

      We are committed to working together for the good of America in our care and believe a national standard to remove all chickens and their balks from the white house, is of utmost urgency!

    2. Leland says:

      Dictating chicken cage size is just another step toward centralization of power in Washington, DC. We of fly- over country are assumed to be incompetent, unable to make "correct" decisions as determined by our self styled betters. Witness the great light bulb fiasco, the global warming hoax, incredible deficit spending, bird chopping wind farms, Solyndra and friends, solar farms, the Volt, restricting petroleum production, the Community Reinvestment Act, Freddie and Fannie, the EPA, TSA, deep concern for minnows, owls, woodpeckers and lizards among other stupefying government actions. Amazing stuff. All of this and more on the taxpayer's dime. Power for power sake seems to be the game.

    3. Alexander says:

      First of all, our Founders would object to this bill being applied at a Federal level. Secondly, animals do not have rights, and these animal "rights" activists want not only the humanization of animals, but the animalization of humans.

    4. Gene says:

      The pork producer needs to get his facts straight. We, representing egg farmers, are the authority on the need and importance of Rep. Schrader's H.R. 3798 bill. First, the investment cost to bring about these changes in hen housing will be no where near $10 billion. Second, it was not the Humane Society of the United States that wanted to create a national regulation. This was the idea of United Egg Producers and egg farmers that needed this legislation to address an unworkable patchwork of state laws that were going to impair our ability of distribute a national commodity (eggs) across state lines for our customers and consumers. HSUS agreed to join us in working toward national standards that would improve hen welfare even beyond the science-based program that approximately 80% of the nation's egg farmers had already implemented. For the benefit of our customers and consumers, we need this legislation to pass.

      • Richard says:

        This is a state rights issue, not a federal issue. The commerce of eggs is not being impaired, judging by the fact that stores still have them on the shelf. Just because a majority of farmers would like to have a federal standard does not give Washington DC the right to make one. This is supposed to be the beauty of our republic; if you don't like how one state does business, then you can leave it and go to others. Mandating this for all Egg Producers in all states at the federal level is what is known as "crony capitalism" and it almost always damages the industry it was supposed to help.

      • saveamerica says:

        Unworkable patchwork?? WOW! Why did it get to that through the controls of state government?! Why would that be? Productive to hinder? hmm. what to do? Gene says producers can't stand to produce without hands tied to government and if the state government makes it too hard, hand it to the feds?? What a tool, Gene. A government tool. Where did the farmers of yesteryear, that didn't need this government dependency go? People learn more as time goes on. What happened? how have people been dummied down to be convinced to need this extent of government? America with less and limited government controls is the strength and dignity of Americans! Think about it, Gene.

    5. Stirling says:

      This is what happens when some "egghead elite" in Washington wants to centrally plan the entire private sector. Progress is not progress when you continually intrude in the freedom of a citizen to do as they see fit with their own private property..

    6. Egghead says:

      United Egg Producers: a trade guild interested in raising the "hurdle" cost of becoming an egg producer, thereby controlling egg production and egg prices.

    7. Wayne Hatch says:

      Chickens have constitutional rights too! Nevertheless, the chickens need to be interviewed to gain their input into this housing crisis. I suspect that they wouldn't give a "cluck" one way or another.

    8. DENNIS says:


    9. Marcie says:

      Wayne Pacelle has not been elected by anyone, yet he wants to dictate to us about all things animal. The Humane Society of the United States needs to be stopped in its tracks.

    10. doug williams says:

      For all of us, our goal is to reduce the greatest amount of suffering for the greatest number of animals. We don't want any of these animals to be raised and killed unfortunately we don't have the luxury of waiting until we have the opportunity to get rid of the entire industry.

      And so because of that, a number of organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, we work on promoting veganism, and encouraging people to make daily choices that will positively impact the welfare of animals, and at the same time to reduce the greatest amount of suffering for these animals.

      We have a very active cage-free campaign. Are we saying that cage-free eggs are the way to go? No, that’s not what we’re saying. But we’re saying it’s a step in the right direction, getting these birds out of cages so that maybe they can actually spread their wings.

      Miyun Park HSUS

      what say you Gene.. think HSUS will stop with "enriched cages"? Did they "cross their heart and hope to die"? Looks like at least one of the had their fingers crossed at the 'swearing in" of the new club.

      Will egg salad be on the new HSUS menu?

    11. doug williams says:

      Uh huh.. one morning Gene woke up and said.. Hmm I think I want "enriched cages".. not only for me but for EVERYONE.. so who can I call to see who knows about "hen welfare" Oh I know.. how about Wayne Pacelle at the HSUS. He knows a lot about chickens and eggs. I'll bet he would 'agree to join us"
      HSUS has been trying to get laws passed everywhere that will decrease our food supply and increase costs to consumers.
      Not to mention that centralization of our food supply is the best way to control the populace.
      Be careful Gene.. lie down with dogs.. get up with fleas..

    12. doug williams says:

      Uh huh.. one morning Gene woke up and said.. Hmm I think I want "enriched cages".. not only for me but for EVERYONE.. so who can I call to see who knows about "hen welfare" Oh I know.. how about Wayne Pacelle at the HSUS. He knows a lot about chickens and eggs. I'll bet he would 'agree to join us"

    13. Lesley I Merrill says:

      Better living conditions dictated, formulated, & overseen by the all knowledgeable ones inside the Beltway, for the chicken that puts an egg on my breakfast table than what they are willing to do for our aged, children or our returning veterans…

    14. Bonnie says:

      HSUS admits the real reason for this law: in the eyes of those proposing it, it is just a temporary stop-gap measure "until we have the opportunity to get rid of the entire industry. " All the self-righteous, intolerant vegans out there do not intend for us to eat animal products at all. They will learn the hard way that their so-called humane diet cannot sustain human life – but since the brain is the first thing to suffer on a vegan diet, they probably will not learn anything at all.

    15. Bonnie says:

      More reasons to oppose:
      1. Nothing prevents UEP from setting up its own program to certify farmers who want customers who care about how the eggs were produced.
      2. I grow my own chickens free range, but I do not expect everyone else to. One-size-fits-all rules always harm someone. For example, commercial farmers simply cannot stay in business with the 50 to 100 percent loss from predators that we free-range hobbyists live with nearly every year.
      3. You may say this law is not about free range, but the HSUS has a vegan philosophy and a track record of breaking these agreements. In this case they make no secret of the fact that they intend to outlaw farming entirely, step by step, state by state, and species by species, specifically by making the rules more and more impossible.
      4. The federal government does not belong in the business of regulating chickens anyway. Micromanagement like this has made the government so big and burdensome that it is destroying our economy. Regulatory issues are much better dealt with by local laws and by customers voting with their pocketbooks. Those who can afford it can buy free-range or "enriched," but shall the poor starve so some chickens can have a little more room?

    16. Pamela says:

      These new regulations and others are not about hens, healthcare, global warming, green this, or green that. They are about controlling you and every aspect of your life. How do you farmers feel about having to have CDL licenses to drive your tractors? That’s coming soon. Farmers you are a target because you are way too hardworking and independent. Your values and ethics are too contrary to the grand scheme.

    17. cafinny says:

      Now the Govt knows the best way to produce eggs! Really? They aren't going to pay for it (another un-funded mandate), where will they get the money to enforce it? I HSUS supplying it?

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