Target: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
Goal: End frivolous lawsuit challenging living standard reforms on egg farms.
In 2008, California passed a law to abolish cruel overpopulated battery cages for egg-laying hens, and drastically reduce the use of battery cages nationwide. Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster has sued the state of California to challenge this law. The law, called Proposition 2, requires all eggs sold or produced in California to come from chickens given enough space to stand, turn around, lie down, and fully extend their wings, and prohibits the sale of eggs from other states that did not comply with these requirements. Although these reforms are modest, they will perhaps encourage other states to also enact animal welfare reforms.
Chickens trapped in conventional battery cages face muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, feather pecking, and cannibalism. Most chicks are debeaked in their first days of life in an attempt to subvert abnormal behaviors, that are the expected result of battery cages. Debeaking can cause excruciating acute pain, as well as chronic pain that can last for a chicken’s entire life span.
Additionally, a recent EU study found that caged hens were far more likely to lay eggs infected with salmonella than cage-free or free-range hens. In fact, according to the Humane Society, all 16 studies on the subject carried out in the last five years found that eggs laid in battery cages were more likely to have salmonella. Salmonella is leading cause of death by food poisoning in the United States.
Pandering to big agribusiness interests, Mr. Koster has brought a frivolous lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of Prop 2, the law that hopes to ensure ethical and humane living conditions for chickens. In doing so, the Missouri Attorney General has used taxpayer money to challenge a just law, designed to preserve some dignity for the chickens and provide safer food for consumers, and to encourage other states and egg-producers to do the same. Demand that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster drop the case and retract all previous statements in opposition to the eradication of battery cages.
Dear Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster,
The use of battery cages by egg producers nationwide constitutes cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. California’s passage of Proposition 2 to eliminate the harmful effects of battery cages is to be commended, not challenged.
Not only are these cages torturous for the chickens, eggs from caged chickens have also been linked to higher rates of salmonella.
I am insisting that your drop this frivolous lawsuit challenging Proposition 2, on the grounds that it is cruel to animals, costly to taxpayers, and dangerous to consumers.
[Your Name Here]