Letter: Question 3 won't have any benefit for chickens

Question 3 won't have any benefit for chickens

To the editor:

Massachusetts voters will have more to decide than the next president when they enter the voting booth on Nov. 8. Question No. 3 is a minimum size requirement for farm animal containment that suggests a "yes vote" is better welfare while a "no vote" is more animal cruelty. This is false.

The pictures shown of chickens struggling in cages is no more typical of modern egg production than pictures of homeless in Boston is typical of living conditions in that city. The National Association of Egg Farmers wants the people in Massachusetts to know that it has been more than five decades since the modern system of producing eggs ensures that chickens have better health, produce more Grade A eggs, and prevent contamination of the eggs with dirt and manure on the ground.

Chickens establish a pecking order among them, so reducing the number of birds in an enclosure such as the modern cages reduces the stress from pecking. If this voter initiative passes in Massachusetts, it will be repeating the same mistakes in California when their initiative became law in 2015. Without improving the health and welfare of the chicken, egg prices rose more than a dollar per dozen after the law's implementation.

Don't be misled by those putting forth this initiative who are intentionally trying to misinform, and who really don't want you to eat eggs anyway. Ask the farmer who provides the best care for his chickens because he wants to keep his chickens producing quality eggs at a price families can afford.

Ken Klippen, Washington, D.C. The writer is president, National Association of Egg Farmers.


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