July 13, 2011 By Julie Harker
Brownfield Ag News. So far, there is little support from U.S. ag groups for a one-size-fits-all federal cage requirement for egg production. The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY) – the “all feather” trade organization – says many of its members have concerns “about inviting additional federal legislation” that the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States are pursuing. Last week, the UEP and the HSUS announced an agreement to push for legislation that would require enriched cages with more space for U.S. poultry production over the next 15 to 18 years.
A statement from USPOULTRY says while the industry has learned that enriched cages “offer many of the same advantages as conventional cage systems while providing birds with an opportunity to engage in additional natural behaviors” – the farming and production of poultry and egg products “is already highly regulated.”
Meanwhile, Colin Woodall, vice president of government affairs of The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said in a statement this week that “cattlemen are rightfully concerned” with the UEP/HSUS agreement to “seek unprecedented federal legislation to mandate on-farm production standards.” Woodall says cattlemen voluntarily developed and follow quality assurance production guidelines that are updated on a regular basis. The National Pork Producers Council made a similar statement last week.