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The King is dead, California hens will spread their wings

News Section Icon Published 1/29/2014

After months of more than 500 organizations advocating for its removal, the dangerous King Amendment, which would have irreparably harmed farmed animal protection, has been deleted from the Farm Bill. Had it passed, this bill would have blocked state laws protecting farm animals. The provision was so broad and overreaching that it could also preempt a wide swath of state laws covering everything from animal welfare to child labor to dangerous pesticides to labeling of farm-raised fish to alcohol and tobacco products.

Compassion in World Farming is delighted, after months of advocating, that the King Amendment is finally dead. Progress in farm animal protection in the United States continues at a pace, undeterred.

Leah Garcés, USA Director Compassion in World Farming.

The removal of this bill also means good news for hens in California. In 2008, California approved Proposition 2, requiring state chicken farmers to give egg-laying birds enough room to stand and spread their wings. Two years later, legislators added a requirement that, when the initiative took effect in 2015, any eggs sold in the state would have to come from farms that meet the California standards. California the fifth largest producing state in the country, producing about five billion eggs per year with approximately 20 million laying hens.

The King Amendment would have overridden the California provision, amongst other animal protection state laws.