Dear Iowa Humanitarian,
URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Thank you to those of you who have already taken action on behalf of egg-laying hens. However, these animals still face real danger. Businesses in your state are one step closer to being forced to carry inhumanely produced eggs. The Iowa State House and Senate have passed HF 2408, a bill that would require grocery stores to sell eggs from hens raised in small, barren cages. The bill is now headed to Governor Reynolds to be signed into law.
Currently, most egg-laying hens are packed so densely into tiny cages that they can barely move and can't even spread their wings. Living in these conditions weakens their immune systems and leaves them at a greater risk for foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella. The market is shifting toward higher-welfare cage-free housing, however, as consumers become increasingly concerned about animal welfare and food safety. In fact, over 200 companies, including Walmart and Dollar Tree, have pledged to transition to cage-free eggs.
Instead of recognizing market trends and honoring these cage-free commitments, the Iowa legislature passed HF 2408, which would require grocery stores to carry eggs from hens raised in extreme confinement--even if there is little demand for them from their customers. Outrageously, the legislation would block companies from fulfilling their pledge to transition to cage-free eggs. This is a deliberate attempt to disrupt the free market shift toward cage-free eggs and control what kind of food consumers are able to purchase.
While the government has a responsibility to protect consumers by creating minimum standards in commerce, under no circumstances should it force stores to sell certain products. HF 2408 sets a dangerous precedent; it would open the door to all kinds of government mandates, potentially forcing grocery stores to carry even more products that are inhumane, unsafe, and out of step with consumer demand.
Urging Governor Reynolds to veto this legislation is our last chance to make sure Iowa retailers won't be forced to carry products from animals raised in cruel confinement. Write or call Governor Reynolds voicing your opposition to HF 2408. You may call the governor at (515) 281-5211.
Another way to take action is to send a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register, Iowa's leading newspaper, urging Gov. Reynolds to veto HF 2408. Letters to the editor should be personalized, communicating the cruelty that egg-laying hens will continue to endure if these bills move forward. The maximum length should be 200 words. Letters to the editor can be submitted here.
Be sure to share our "Dear Humanitarian" eAlert with family, friends, and co-workers in Iowa and encourage them to write, too! As always, thank you for taking action on behalf of the animals.