Arizona becomes the latest state to ban the sale and production of eggs from caged chickens

By on April 12, 2022 with 13 Comments

In an important and encouraging advance for the protection of farm animals, Arizona has moved to ban cruel cages for egg-laying hens and ensure that all eggs produced and/or sold in the state are cage-free. The regulations promulgated by the Arizona Department of Agriculture guarantee that over 7 million chickens laying eggs for the Arizona marketplace each year will never know the pain and suffering of being confined in a tiny cage.

With the adoption of these regulations, Arizona joins California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in committing to outlaw the use of cages for chickens.

I could not be prouder of the work of our state affairs, animal protection law and farm animal protection teams, whose dedication and efforts have made these tangible victories possible in state after state. This is part of a comprehensive strategy that has dramatically reshaped the egg industry in less than a decade.

In addition to our work on state-level legislation and regulatory reform, the HSUS has also been pressing the United States’ largest food companies to go cage-free for their egg supply. Last month, for example, we worked with The Cheesecake Factory to announce that it will reach its 100% cage-free goal in the U.S. and Canada by year’s end—three years ahead of its 2025 deadline. 

American consumers have helped our momentum by making their preference for cage-free eggs clear, and a once-recalcitrant industry is now moving to meet that demand in the marketplace.

A little over a decade ago, the percentage of egg-laying chickens raised in cage-free environments in the United States was in the low single digits. Now, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, around 34% of egg-laying chickens are living in cage-free operations. That is the largest percentage of cage-free birds in the egg industry since caging became the norm. It represents more than 100 million chickens annually who are living cage-free rather than caged because of our efforts.

Why does this matter so much? The standard in the egg industry is to lock chickens in tiny, wire cages that are so small the birds can’t even spread their wings. Each bird lives her whole life on a space no larger than the screen of an iPad. But with every passing day, we’re making gains in our campaign to end this abhorrent treatment of farm animals, and we’re confident that we can soon bring it to an end.

Despite continuing attempts by some in the meat industry to thwart our progress— most notably in the current attempt to halt implementation of California’s Proposition 12 —we’re still securing major gains for farm animals. The success in Arizona is just the most recent to demonstrate that humane advocates and the agricultural community can find common ground to advance animal welfare and create a framework for producers to thrive in the cage-free future we’re forging.

The future is undoubtedly going to be cage-free, but we’re trying to get there as soon as possible to spare billions of animals from miserable lives locked away in tiny cages. Arizona’s move brings us a little closer to that goal and is cause for celebration. Just as importantly, it puts more air under our wings and inspires us to keep going in our broader work to make this world a better one not just for farm animals, but for all animals who are deserving of our protection.

Farm Animals

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Que bueno que ya mas estados y gobierno se estan preocupando por el bienestar de los animalitos

  2. Ewa Urbanski says:

    Es ist toll.Alle anderen sollen mitmachen.!!!!!

  3. Sally Palmer says:

    If anyone has ever suffered, they know any relief helps. Thank you, HSUS, and all those who have worked so hard to raise awareness of caged misery to result in action to end this misery.

  4. Priscilla Mendoza says:

    Wonderful news for us in Arizona!
    Make your voice heard by only buying CAGE FREE!!
    Chickens are wonderful, quirky animals. Let’s get all states onboard!!
    Please support HSUS efforts by donating so they can keep up the awesome work.

    • Harish Vasikaran says:

      Even better, buy Pasture raised eggs. Caged free still means instead of cage all the chickens would be still confined into a building without access to sunlight or fresh air. Pasture raised means the chickens are actually on grass feeding on bugs as they do natural. Pasture raised eggs are way better in taste too!

  5. Debra Kitchin says:

    Kudos to ALL the states who have banned eggs from caged chickens! Come on aboard all you other states, it feels great to be kind.

  6. ken jenner says:

    Chickens are wonderful and nice fun to keep I have 3 make nice pets so save the Chickens.

  7. Karen Milano says:

    The animals are so stressed out and mistreated. New laws should be created to at least give partial outdoor space for chickens to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. All animals deserve a sense of freedom.

  8. Harish Vasikaran says:

    This is huge win!. The federal government should pass legislature that bans caged chicken nationwide. I would encourage everyone to write letters to your congressman/congresswomen and senators to ban this caged chicken practice.

  9. Harish Vasikaran says:

    This is huge win!. Next the states should also pass a law banning chick culling. The Egg Industry only uses female chicks since only they produce eggs. The male chicks and unhealthy female chicks are considered ‘unwanted’ and are killed using the chick culling process. The primary chick culling method used in the United States is maceration. This process is very gruesome where the chicks would be ground up alive. The ‘unwanted’ chicks are placed in a conveyer belt where they fall into a macerator which literally shreds them alive. As many as 300 million chicks die in this horrible way every year in the USA. It’s a disturbing and wasteful practice. No animal deserves to die in that violent way.

  10. K G W says:

    Enjoy your $10 a dozen eggs.

  11. dss says:

    I just found out about this. “pain and suffering of being confined in a tiny cage” is it really worth the inflated cost to pass this insane law? really? Why not instead pass a law that says all chickens must be in a 10’x10′ room with a sofa, popcorn and soda. enjoy your high costing eggs (and all food that has eggs in them) as a result! we are such hypocrites in this society. this hurts more than the chickens. I could think of several alternatives to this stupid law that would allow all the chickens to live without cruelty. But not hurt the economy in return.

  12. Erica Kipp Sinanis says:

    How can other states be convinced to do this? How can residents help bring action? write letters? apply pressure to restaurants and/or grocery stores? There has to be a way where individuals can make a difference or at least help you! I have chickens and they are incredibly loving, intelligent, and social animals. The structure we purchased for them indicated it was suitable for 8-10 birds. We have 4 and I feel they need more space! I free-range them when I get home from work so they can do so safely with me (we have A LOT of predators in our area).

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