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Pacific Northwest’s Egg Producers Beat Animal Rights Groups at Their Own Game

National Animal Interest Alliance

Pacific Northwest --( If you follow agriculture at all, it has been hard to miss the brilliant work and great success of the Pacific Northwest’s egg producers this past legislative season.

Most notably their guidance in crafting Washington SB 5487 and Oregon SB 805: two nearly-identical bills codifying the best in modern agricultural practices for egg laying hens, while creating unified high standards between the two neighboring states.

These new standards represent a best of both worlds scenario for egg-laying hens and consumers alike. Under them, hens will have the ability to fully extend their wings, move around, and engage in normal behaviors (scratching, perching, laying eggs in privacy, etc.), while living in an environment that is safer and cleaner than both cage free facilities and older conventional cage systems – something that is important for the health of hens as well as the public.

They also represent a major victory for sound animal husbandry practices and the animal welfare ethic, as these reforms were pushed not by outside advocacy groups, but egg producers themselves. This becomes most obvious when the end goals are taken into consideration: the most modern and efficient egg farms in the country, coupled with greatly improved animal welfare standards and a minimal impact upon the price of eggs for consumers.

This is a win-win scenario if I’ve ever seen it; the kind of decisive, innovative action that makes us proud to support animal agriculture, and something we hope to see even more of in the future.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and other animal rights groups are absolutely livid with the egg producers of Oregon and Washington, and I can’t blame them – after all, when an industry sets its standards this high, it becomes much more difficult to run an effective fundraising or legislative campaign against them.

Nevertheless, HSUS and company have promised ballot initiatives in both states demanding de-facto cage free housing before the new facilities can be built. If and when that happens, you can count on us to keep the public informed on this issue – to battle distortion with fact, misconception with reality, and to support the people who truly understand and care for animals.


Patti Strand
National Director NAIA

The Mission of National Animal Interest Alliance is to promote the welfare of animals, to strengthen the human-animal bond, and safeguard the rights of responsible animal owners and professionals through research, public education and sound public policy. Visit:

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