2021 does not appear to be “over simple” for Massachusetts. An animal liberation bill that goes into effect on January 1, 2022, continues to threaten to devastate the state’s chicken egg stockpile unless legislation can modify it in time.
The law in question is The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, a 2016 state plebiscite law. The law, which goes into effect the upcoming month, will establish new ethical principles for Massachusetts’ farming production.
One provision of the law prohibits the sale of egg masses by chickens “restricted brutally,” establishing a new least cage area of 1.5 square feet.
With the existing industry norm of one square foot, the legislation can drive numerous poultry farms out of business because they are unready to meet the minimum requirements.
As per The New England Brown Egg Council, an exchange organization that represents cattle farmers, Massachusetts’ egg stock could decrease by up to 90% if the new law passes.
Concerns have also been expressed regarding rising egg prices. According to Restaurant Business, the price could rise to $5 per dozen.
With resource and price problems threatening customers and the restaurant business in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker weighed in Tuesday, alerting legislatures of the issue and pleading with them to take action.
Massachusetts legislators are actively working on rewriting the 2016 legislation, with the House and Senate drafting amended expenses.
Everyone is already paying too much at the grocery store and not addressing this egg supply issue will further drive up costs. I urge lawmakers to reach consensus soon before these rules go into effect in January.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) December 14, 2021
In October, a six-member team was created to rectify the draughts, but it has yet to produce the final edition, which will need to be authorized by both houses of Congress before being signed by the head of state.
With the January 1 tight time approaching, Massachusetts legislators will have to act quickly to change the law before it goes into effect. It’s time to get started.
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