Ending the Intensive Confinement of Hens Used by the Egg Industry (New Mexico)
Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens Act (SB 347)
The Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens Act (SB 347) would require that, by 2022, hens used by the egg industry and raised in New Mexico live in cage-free conditions — outlawing battery cages — and that eggs sold in New Mexico meet this same standard.
Hens used by the egg industry are among the most abused animals in the country yet have few legal protections. In most states, hens can legally be intensively confined in battery cages so small they cannot extend their wings or lie down comfortably. Battery cages are tiny wire cages where each hen is given less space than a sheet of printer paper to spend her entire life.
The Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens Act (SB 347) would require that, by 2022, hens used by the egg industry and raised in New Mexico live in cage-free conditions — outlawing battery cages — and that eggs sold in New Mexico meet this same standard. It would also mandate access to enrichments that allow the birds to engage in certain vital natural behaviors such as perching, nesting in boxes, dust bathing, and fully extending their wings. These enrichments vastly improve the welfare of hens.
Since 2016, multiple states — California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — have passed similar laws. More than 200 corporations are requiring their suppliers to switch to cage-free systems, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Hannaford, Shaw’s, Walmart, Dollar Tree, IHOP, and Denny’s.
New Mexico State Senator Pete Campos (D-8) introduced this important animal protection legislation on February 10, 2021. It was passed by the Senate Conservation Committee (6-3 vote) on February 25, 2021. It did not receive a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the legislative session ended on March 20, 2021.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is grateful to Senator Pete Campos for his leadership on this legislation. We thank the coalition, including Animal Protection Voters New Mexico and the Humane Society of the United States, and all our supporters in New Mexico who took action to support this legislation.
Learn more about farmed animals and the law.