Initiative 1130: cage-free eggs
by Trudy Bialic
This article was originally published in July 2011
Thank you, PCC members, for helping to advance animal welfare in Washington state.
Dozens of you have volunteered to gather signatures for Initiative 1130, a proposal for the November ballot to ensure all egg-laying chickens in the state are not kept confined in cages.
The initiative would end the practice of cramming several hens into one cage so tightly that they cannot even stretch their wings. An untold number of you have signed petitions outside our stores to help end that practice. Thank you.
At press time, the Humane Society said it believes it has enough signatures to get the cage-free initiative on the ballot.
To PCC shoppers, Initiative 1130 may seem like a no-brainer for improving animal welfare — to prohibit the use of cages that confine egg-laying hens. PCC Natural Markets officially has endorsed the initiative, joining the Humane Society, the ASPCA and Washingtonians for Humane Farms. PCC also has helped sign up supporting farmers who say cage-free is the way it must be.
The United Egg Producers, the Northwest Poultry Council, and some state lawmakers (e.g., Rep. Schoesler) are opposed to Initiative 1130. They say hens are happy in cages and that such confinement keeps prices down.
In our opinion, eggs remain a great value in food today. All of PCC’s eggs are from cage-free operations and our organic eggs cost only 33 cents each. An organic, two-egg meal for 66 cents? That’s a bargain!
Caging hens also is a public health issue. Research shows that caged hens have higher rates of salmonella than cage-free egg operations.
If you haven’t signed the petition for Initiative 1130 but want to, visit Yes! on 1130 for a list of events where volunteers will be collecting signatures.