During a daylong
public hearing, members of the General Assembly's Environment Committee seemed conflicted
over the economic and moral aspects of the legislation that would ban cages for
hens. The legislation would also prohibit the state Department of Administrative Services
from buying eggs from farms that use cages. The ban was opposed by state Agriculture
Commissioner F. Philip Prelli.
"The concept of housing laying hens in cages is necessarily inhumane
is based on conjecture and not supported by scientific evidence," Prelli said.
"Hens that are contented and tend to lay more eggs, and in all the studies we're
seen, caged hens lay more eggs than free-roving hens. So to say they're not
content is incorrect."
However, Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United
States, said the so-called battery cage,
which holds up to nine chickens, is cruel. Pacelle said, "[In battery cages] the
animals are also denied any opportunity to engage in numerous important, natural
behaviours, including nesting, dust bathing, perching, and foraging." Sen.
Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, a member of the committee, said constituents of his
believe the bill is a good measure to give hens some space to spread their
Stores including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace decline
to sell the battery-cage eggs; and in the last Congress, US Rep. Christopher
Shays, R-4, sponsored legislation that would have required the federal
government to purchase eggs only from cage-free hens. Prelli maintains that
consumers should be able to make their own choices in purchasing food
Battery cages outlawed by the EU
US Council officially opposes cage eggs
American movement against cages grows stronger
New Zealand phasing out battery cages
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