Upgrade to Ballot Question Protects More Animals

Three chickens in a field

Toward the end of 2021, the Massachusetts legislature strengthened the 2016 ballot question known as Question 3 — the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, to ensure certain egg-laying hens in cage-free housing also have critical behavioral enrichments, such as nest boxes, perches, and dust-bathing and scratching areas.

Significantly, in a move that will protect at least two million more hens each year, the legislature also expanded the law’s protections to hens used to produce liquid eggs, a product sent to restaurants and other foodservice markets.

For more information on our efforts in the legislature, please visit mspca.org/advocacy.

The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals — known as Question 3 — requires Massachusetts farmers to give chickens, pigs, and calves enough room to turn around, stand up, lie down, and fully extend their limbs. In December 2021, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed an Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards.