In a comprehensive report, entitled “Table Egg Production and Hen Welfare: The UEP-HSUS Agreement and H.R. 3798” issued this month by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the following was noted with respect to the bill status.

Through early May 2012, an additional 57 cosponsors have signed on to H.R. 3798.  No companion bill have been introduced in the Senate.  Potentially, an attempt could be made to add the provisions of H.R. 3798, or similar provisions, to the 2012 omnibus farm bill.  Past farm bills have included provisions covering the livestock and poultry industries, such as country-of-origin labeling, interstate shipment of state-inspected meat, and laws on production contracts.  No amendment containing provisions similar to H.R. 3798 was offered during the Senate Agriculture Committee markup of the omnibus 2012 farm bill on April 26, 2012.  However, it is possible that an amendment addressing the egg bill could be offered during Senate floor action on the farm bill.  Similarly, provisions on eggs could be considered as part of the House farm bill debate.

If H.R. 3798 is not enacted, it is likely that HSUS and other animal protection groups will again push for ballot initiatives in states where available.  In the future, egg producers could confront a variety of egg laws across states.  At some point, U.S. courts and Congress may be asked to address the interstate movement of eggs, particularly if states enact a law like California’s that requires eggs sold in the state to conform to California production standards.

The complete CRS report is available here.

 

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