Hens are getting a little more space to roam with the help from a new bill passed today.
With the signing of Senate Bill 174, Michigan will require all its egg-laying hens to be housed in cage-free systems.
“Michigan is known for having one of the most diverse agricultural and farming industries in the nation,” Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist said. “Signing this bill is the right thing to do. This will ensure that our standards are amongst the strongest in the nation when it comes to protecting animal welfare, while ensuring that egg producers are able to continue to thrive.”
According to the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Michigan ranks 6th in the nation in egg production.
The legislation is also providing the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development with disease emergency response tools to combat any public and animal health concerns that could arise.
The last element of the legislation will make non-cage-free eggs illegal to be sold in Michigan.
Michigan joins California, Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island in adopting a cage-free requirement.
The bill will take effect 90 days after it has been enacted.