Let’s take a look at seven reasons why Prop 2 won’t survive
If you’ve been wondering whether the California Egg Law has any legs to stand on, there are many reasons that point to “no.” Just to catch up, Proposition 2 was passed by Golden State voters back in 2008 which essentially mandated that farmers planning to sell their eggs in California come January 1, 2015 would have to expand their chicken coops for a more humane facility for housing egg-laying hens. Those in favor of the law say it’s about time chickens get a little respect and get the room they deserve to move around a bit and stretch their wings. Those who oppose the law say it’s not only cost prohibitive to expect farmers to afford the high price tag associated with compliance but it’s also unconstitutional as well. Let’s take a look at seven reasons why Prop 2 won’t survive the long haul.
1. Under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, California (as in all states) only reserves the right to pass laws that govern the production of eggs within their own state, but not regarding production standards in other states, according to the National Association of Egg Farmers.
2. If upheld, Prop 2 will cause a shortage of eggs in California. Take a look at the numbers: There are nearly 40 million consumers there but only 19 million hens; when the import of 20 million eggs from other states ceases, this will cause a huge ripple effect throughout the Golden State.
3. The economic impact would be astounding, as there is currently $150 million each year coming into the state from the shipment of eggs. If outside farmers fail to comply, that dries up a big part of California’s egg resources.
4. Giving in to animal rights groups and state laws that have no legal basis sets a dangerous precedence for further restrictions being placed on private industry through public demands.
5. Consumers will simply choose cheaper eggs made in Mexico and imported to this country, in effect turning a blind eye to American made eggs and costing the industry dearly.
6. Studies have been done that illustrate a minimal difference when it comes to the impact on welfare of egg laying hens in the standard cages and the new proposed cage standards.
7. In the lawsuit recently brought against the state of California, the attorney general of Missouri said it won’t just have an impact on the egg industry as a whole but will severely impact the populations of the states bringing the lawsuit. Proposition 2 enforces changes in policy on out of state egg farmers who have no way of overturning that change or contributing to it in any way because they are not allowed to vote in California.
Taking a look at these reasons, you’ll see there are many components that could represent the demise of Proposition 2 before it even gets out of the gate. A lot of this will rest on the shoulders of the outcome of the lawsuits brought against California by the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Iowa.