Farm Animal Anti-Confinement Legislation

Farm Animal Anti-Confinement Legislation - Photo by Mercy for Animals

Millions of pigs, calves, and chickens are forced to spend their lives confined in spaces so small they can't even turn around. Gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages prevent animals from performing natural behaviors, thus causing injuries and significant physical and psychological stress.

A growing number of states are passing legislation to prohibit intensive confinement crates for calves raised for veal and gestating sows, and battery cages for egg-laying hens.

States restricting or prohibiting intensive confinement:

State

Year

Format of Provision

Details

Arizona

2006

Ballot Measure (Prop 204, enacted as Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-2910.07)

Prohibits confining veal calves and gestating sows where they cannot lie down, fully extend limbs, or turn around freely for the majority (or all) of the day.

California

2008

Ballot Measure (Prop 2, enacted as Cal. Health and Safety Code, Ch. 13.8 § 25990)

Prohibits confining veal calves, gestating sows, and hens where they cannot lie down, fully extend limbs, or turn around freely.

2010

Legislation (AB 1437, passed as Cal. Health and Safety Code, Ch. 14 § 25995)

Bans in-state sale of shelled eggs from caged hens.

2018

Ballot Measure (Prop 12, amended Cal. Health and Safety Code, Ch. 13.8 § 25990)

Amends existing anti-confinement laws to establish minimum square footage for crates and cages; bans the in-state sale of veal and pork meat and liquid eggs (in addition to shell eggs) that come from farm animals raised in intense confinement.

Colorado

2008

Legislation (Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 35-50.5-102)

Prohibits confining veal calves and gestating sows where they cannot stand up, lie down, or turn around freely.

Florida

2002

Ballot Measure (Amendment 10, codified in Fla. Const. Art. X, § 21).

Prohibits gestation crates that prevent a pig from turning around freely; also includes a general statement that “inhumane treatment of animals is a concern of Florida citizens.”

Kentucky

2014

Regulations (302 Ky. Admin. Regs. 21:030)

Phased out veal crates by Dec. 31, 2017; calves raised for veal must be able to stand without impediment, rest in normal posture, groom, and eat.

Maine

2009

Legislation (Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 7, § 4020)

Prohibits confining veal calves and gestating sows where they cannot stand up, lie down, fully extend limbs, or turn around freely for the majority (or all) of the day.

Massachusetts

2016

Ballot Measure (Question 3, enacted as Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 129 App., § 1-5).

Phases out (by 2022) veal crates, gestation crates, and battery cages; prohibits the in-state sale of meat and shell eggs that come from animals confined in those conditions.

Michigan

2009

Legislation (Mich. Comp. Laws. Ann. § 287.746)

Prohibits cruel confinement of veal calves, gestating sows, and hens where they cannot stand up, lie down, fully extend limbs, or turn around freely for the majority (or all) of the day.

Ohio

2010

Regulations (Ohio Admin. Code §901:12-5-03 [veal]; §901:12-8 [swine])

Requires veal calves to be housed in group pens by 10 weeks of age where they can stand without impediment, rest using normal postures, groom, eat, turn around, and lie down. Limits sow gestation crates after 2025 to post-weaning for a period of time that seeks to maximize embryonic welfare and allows for confirmation of pregnancy.

Oregon

2007

Legislation (Or. Rev. Stat. § 600.150)

Prohibits confinement of gestating sows for more than twelve hours in a way that does not allow them to lie down, fully extend limbs, and turn around freely.

2011

Legislation (Or. Rev. Stat. § 632.840)

Authorizes Dept. of Agriculture to promulgate regulations phasing in colony cages by 2026, increasing the amount of space required for egg-laying hens to the American Humane Association’s requirements.

2019 Legislation (S.B. 1019) Bans the in-state sale of eggs from hens housed in cruel confinement by the end of 2023; changes the space requirement to follow the United Egg Producer’s 2017 edition of Animal Husbandry Guidelines for United States Egg-Laying Flocks: Guidelines for Cage-Free Housing.

Rhode Island

2012

Legislation (4 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. §4-1.1-3)

Prohibits confining veal calves and gestating sows where they cannot stand up, lie down, fully extend limbs, or turn around freely.

2018

Legislation (R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. §§ 4-1.1-1 to 1.5)

Extends prohibitions to hens in battery cages; requires that egg-laying hens be able to fully stretch their wings without touching the sides of the enclosure or other birds.  

Washington

2011

Legislation (Wash. Rev. Code § 69.25.065 and § 69.25.107)

Requires producers with 3,000 egg-laying hens or more to provide 116.3 square inches of space (per the American Humane Association requirements). 

2019

Legislation (2049 S.SL)

Bans the in-state sale of eggs from hens housed in cruel confinement by 2023; changes the space requirement to follow the United Egg Producer’s 2017 edition of Animal Husbandry Guidelines for United States Egg-Laying Flocks: Guidelines for Cage-Free Housing.