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Upgrades to Hen Welfare Standards

S. 2481: An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards

MSPCA Position: Support
Sponsor: Senator Jason Lewis and Representative Dan Cahill
Status: Passed by the Senate on June 24, 2021. Passed by the House on October 6, 2021. Committee on conference appointed (Lewis-Rausch-Tarr-Dykema-Cahill-Orrall)

This legislation will upgrade conditions for egg-laying hens by mandating that they be able to engage in certain vital natural behaviors such as perching, nesting in boxes, dust bathing, and fully extending their wings.

In 2016, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed Question 3, the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, which prohibits the confinement of egg-laying hens, mother pigs, and calves raised for veal in spaces that prevent them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely. Since then, leading retailers, producers, and other states have mandated even stronger standards in the shift to cage-free conditions for hens. The legislature has the opportunity to upgrade the 2016 law, bringing it in line with the new — stronger — welfare standard and expanding its application to liquid eggs (those often used in restaurants).


In the Headlines:

Groups pushing ‘upgrade’ in farm animal law, Commonwealth Magazine. April 27, 2021.

Bill Co-Sponsors:

Updated 8/9/2021

State Senators:

Name District/Address
Jason M. Lewis Fifth Middlesex
Brendan P. Crighton Third Essex
Patrick M. O’Connor Plymouth and Norfolk
James B. Eldridge Middlesex and Worcester
Sal N. DiDomenico Middlesex and Suffolk

State Representatives:

Name District/Address
Daniel Cahill 10th Essex
Lindsay N. Sabadosa 1st Hampshire
Jack Patrick Lewis 7th Middlesex
David Allen Robertson 19th Middlesex
Tram T. Nguyen 18th Essex
Steven C. Owens 29th Middlesex
Tricia Farley-Bouvier 3rd Berkshire
Danillo A. Sena 37th Middlesex
Kenneth I. Gordon 21st Middlesex
Lenny Mirra 2nd Essex
Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. 12th Hampden
Sheila C. Harrington 1st Middlesex
Ruth B. Balser 12th Middlesex
Tami L. Gouveia 14th Middlesex
Edward F. Coppinger 10th Suffolk
Thomas M. Stanley 9th Middlesex
James K. Hawkins 2nd Bristol
Adam J. Scanlon 14th Bristol
Ann-Margaret Ferrante 5th Essex
Bradley H. Jones, Jr. 20th Middlesex
Steven G. Xiarhos 5th Barnstable
Mathew J. Muratore 1st Plymouth
Carmine Lawrence Gentile 13th Middlesex
Paul F. Tucker 7th Essex
Jacob R. Oliveira 7th Hampden
Jessica Ann Giannino 16th Suffolk
William C. Galvin 6th Norfolk
David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf 17th Worcester
Natalie M. Higgins 4th Worcester
Peter Capano 11th Essex
Sean Garballey 23rd Middlesex
Patrick Joseph Kearney 4th Plymouth
Brian M. Ashe 2nd Hampden
Michael P. Kushmerek 3rd Worcester
Steven Ultrino 33rd Middlesex
Daniel J. Ryan 2nd Suffolk
David Biele 4th Suffolk
David M. Rogers 24th Middlesex
Tommy Vitolo 15th Norfolk
Adrian C. Madaro 1st Suffolk
Vanna Howard 17th Middlesex
Josh S. Cutler 6th Plymouth
Jay D. Livingstone 8th Suffolk
Carol A. Doherty 3rd Bristol
Alice Hanlon Peisch 14th Norfolk
James Arciero 2nd Middlesex
Kay Khan 11th Middlesex
Brian W. Murray 10th Worcester
Christopher Hendricks 11th Bristol
Daniel M. Donahue 16th Worcester
Richard M. Haggerty 30th Middlesex

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