By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 at 7:42 am in Chickens.
The bill, A.B. 1437, requires that all whole eggs sold in California as of Jan. 1, 2015, come from hens able to stand up, fully extend their limbs, lie down and spread their wings without touching each other or the sides of their enclosure, thus requiring cage-free conditions for the birds.
“By signing this bill, Governor Schwarzenegger has taken an important step in protecting animal welfare in a way that will also improve food safety for consumers across California,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Californians have made it clear that they don’t want unsafe eggs from hens crammed into cages, and we applaud the Legislature and governor for heeding this call.”
A.B. 1437 passed the Assembly by a vote of 65 to 9 and the Senate by a vote of 23 to 7. The HSUS praised Assemblymember Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, the author of the legislation, for shepherding A.B. 1437 to passage in the Assembly, and Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, D-Shafter, who managed the bill in the Senate. Co-authors of the legislation include Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, and Assemblymembers Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, Cathleen Galgiani, D-Tracy, Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, and Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana. As a state senator, Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado was also a cosponsor of the legislation.
Supporters of the legislation include the ASPCA, Sierra Club California, Planning and Conservation League, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Bon Appétit Management Company and dozens of other organizations.
A.B. 1437 follows on the heels of the landslide passage of Prop 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act. Nearly 64 percent of California voters passed Prop 2, which got more votes than any citizen initiative in California history. Prop 2 goes into effect at the same time as A.B. 1437.