Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HSUS Says New Henhouse Not Compliant

J.S. West to build henhouse compliant with Proposition 2
By John Holland -

J.S. West and Cos., an egg producer based in Modesto, announced today that it will build a henhouse aimed at complying with Proposition 2.

This will be the first commercial project that meets the standards for hen enclosures approved by state voters last year, company president Eric Benson said.

The Humane Society of the United States, a leading backer of the proposition, disagreed. It said the new housing, increasing the floor space per hen to 116 square inches, would leave the birds too cramped.

Benson said he was not surprised by the reaction and plans to move forward with the $3.2 million project. It will house about 150,000 hens — 8 percent of the company’s flock — at one of its operations near Livingston.

“No matter what the Humane Society thinks, we believe at J.S. West that this housing is Proposition 2-compliant,” Benson said.

Jennifer Fearing, senior state director for the Humane Society, said both sides in the battle over Proposition 2 agreed last year that it would not allow the enclosures planned by J.S. West.

“The amount of space proposed here is clearly not enough space for ‘fully extending all limbs without touching the side of an enclosure or another bird’ as defined under Proposition 2,” she said in an e-mail. Read More

As was to be expected, the HSUS is quite upset that anyone is going to continue egg production in California. Their goal was to eliminate the industry in that state, but now there are some that are going to attempt to comply with Prop 2. The HSUS wrote the proposition with vague language so that they could twist the interpretation any way they wanted. In doing so, they figured everyone would be to scared to even try complying. Eventually a judge will have to determine what is and isn’t legal. Until then, expect to hear the HSUS claim any proposal as being in violation of Prop 2.

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