California Eggs Will Be Cage-Free by 2015

Megan is a sucker for sustainable agriculture and a good farmers market, she likes writing about food almost as much as eating it.

By 2015, all eggs sold in the state of California will come from hens that were able to stand up, lie down, turn around, and fully extend their limbs without touching other hens or the sides of a cage.

The hens' right to do the Hokey Pokey is all thanks to bill A.B.1437, signed into law Tuesday by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Happy chickens lay happy eggs, which make for happy eating. (Photo: davosmith/Creative Commons)

The bill was created to protect animals from bad treatment, but also to decrease the probability of salmonella spreading, which is higher in areas of tight confinement and low sanitation.

According to the Humane Society of the United States:

Proposition 2, approved by voters in November 2008, phases out the extreme confinement of laying hens in cages by 2015. A.B. 1437 applies the standards contained within Prop 2 to the sale of shell eggs.

Next, the Humane Society is setting its sights on animals who are being affected by the Gulf oil spill.

"The needs are great and our millions of supporters want animal rescue to be a higher priority," Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle told the L.A. Times. "I can tell you that TV images, as powerful as they are, fail in one important respect: They do not adequately convey the scale of the area involved."

As for how the average Joe can contribute to animal welfare, Pacelle said:

Spring and summer are the busiest times for local animal shelters, with more litters of kittens and puppies coming through their doors. You can help save lives by spaying and neutering your pets. Also, consider volunteering your time and talents by walking dogs, socializing cats or becoming a pet foster parent.

Photo: davosmith/Creative Commons via Flickr

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