Massachusetts House passes bill aimed at avoiding disruptions to egg supply in 2022


By Matt Murphy, State House News Service

via MassLive - Oct 7, 2021


With the threat of bacon and egg shortages looming, the House passed a bill Wednesday aimed at avoiding any disruption to food supplies next year by updating the 2016 ballot law that set standards for how hens, pigs and veal calves could be raised.


The ballot law was intended to improve the living conditions for food-producing farm animals by setting standards for how much space animals were required to have in confinement. Evolving industry practices and conflicting standards adopted by other states, however, have threatened to cut of the supply of eggs and pork products to Massachusetts as soon as January.


“Passage of this bill is time sensitive and is essential to protecting our fragile food supply chain when food insecurity is as high as ever,” said Rep. Carolyn Dykema, a Holliston Democrat, who explained the bill on the House floor Wednesday.


Dykema said the revisions to the ballot law also would ensure the humane treatment of millions more egg-laying hens by extending protections to those hens used to produce “other egg products,” such as liquid or deshelled eggs.


The bill, a version of which passed the Senate in June, cleared the House 156-1 without anyone speaking in opposition. Rep. Susannah Whipps, an Athol independent, cast the only no vote...