USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reported that since 2002, 14 states have enacted laws governing their animal agriculture industries’ pre-slaughter production practices, which may contribute to the current shortages and rising prices. They focus on animals in the pork, beef, and egg industries and restrict production practices and sales of non-compliant products.
The law aims to impose housing standards on all farms wishing to produce for the California market regardless of location and is already before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Among the findings of the ERS are
-Eleven states have passed bans on the use of calf or gestation crates. By the end of 2022, calf caging bans covered 13% of U.S. operations, and by 2026 they will cover 7% of the gestation herd.
-Ten states banned the confinement of hens beyond a minimum space requirement in the use of crates in poultry and egg production.
According to ERS reports, international trade can be affected by animal welfare standards as the states with prohibitions on confined or caged egg production account for more than 41 percent of U.S. shell egg exports.
The egg shortages sweeping the United States are first blamed on the Avian Flu outbreaks that began in North America at about this time in 2022 and the switch over to cage-free systems that at this time is not keeping up with demand. California is the most affected state, as the price for a dozen large eggs jumped to $7.37.
In its latest update, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta reports almost 58 million birds in domestic poultry flocks in 47 states were lost to avian flu during the past year. Another 5,552 wild birds in all 50 states were found infected.
Flynn, D. (January 9th,2023). Challenges to growing animal welfare restrictions found «largely unsuccessful.» Food Safety News. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2023/01/challenges-to-growing-animal-welfare-restrictions-found-largely-unsuccessful/