Another state will require egg producers to turn to cage-free production methods by 2025. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill last week that prohibits producers from confining hens in cages beginning on January 1 of 2025. It also requires farmers to provide amenities that allow egg-laying hens to exhibit their “natural behaviors,” such as hen perches, nest boxes, and scratching areas. Utah joins other states like Michigan, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, and Colorado in eliminating cages.
Josh Balk of the Humane Society says Utah’s law is part of a rapid industry shift toward cage-free production methods, noting that “nearly 30 percent of the industry is cage-free.” ABC TV in Utah says egg-laying hens can be raised in an indoor environment as long as they have enough room under the United Egg Producers’ Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg-Laying Flocks. Someone found in violation of the new law could face a fine of $100 per every written notice, regardless of the number of violations identified in the notice. The Humane Society also says Utah’s approximately five million hens will be able to “run around and stretch their legs in cage-free barns.”