A new survey of Ohio voters, conducted by Columbus-based Saperstein Associates, reveals overwhelming support—by more than a three-to-one margin—for a federal bill to give more space to laying hens in the egg industry.
Ohio is the second-largest egg producing state in the nation, with nearly 28 million laying hens.
The survey reveals that more than seven out of 10 (71 percent) voters support H.R. 3798 in Congress to establish national standards for the treatment of egg-laying hens, while only 22 percent oppose the bill and 7 percent are undecided.
The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 would give each bird essentially twice the current amount of space and provide perches, nesting boxes, and other forms of environmental enrichment that allow hens to express natural behaviors.
H.R. 3798 would also prohibit excessive levels of ammonia in henhouses, ban inhumane methods of euthanasia, and require a national labeling program so egg cartons display more information about the conditions in which hens are raised.
“The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers have been long-time adversaries, but have come together and identified a solution that balances animal welfare and the economic realities of the industry,” says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “The nation needs this kind of problem solving, and the Ohio delegation in Congress should enthusiastically embrace a bill that has the support of all the key stakeholders and of Ohio voters.”
Additional survey findings include:
Saperstein Associates conducted the survey of 804 voters during March 13-18, 2012, and the margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent. The full questions on egg-laying hens are below, and a complete copy of the survey results, which also included other animal welfare issues, is available here.
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