Tags: california | chicken | eggs

Calif. Chicken Law Could Put Farmers Out of Business

By Monday, 26 January 2015 08:06 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In California the chicken coops are coming home to roost.

That’s because in 2008 voters passed Proposition 2, which said that chickens could no longer be housed in efficiency–sized coops, and the full effect of the law takes place this year.

In a state where illegal aliens are often stacked like cordwood in suburban crash pads, the chickens are required to come home to roost in a dwelling large enough spread their wings.

The Daily Caller reports the law specifies “egg–laying hens . . . have enough room to lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs.”

It does not say if the poultry is required to watch a CrossFit video while doing so.

Of course, voters didn’t have to pay for this bit of moral exhibitionism, but chicken producers did. And they joined the business exodus from California early.

The legislature concluded egg producers could run to some other state, but they can’t hide from this law. The act bans the sale of eggs within California from any chicken not raised in a California king cage, which is sort of a reverse anchor-baby policy.

As is typical when government gets into the housing business — even chicken housing — it causes a coop crisis. The supply goes down while the price goes up. Egg producers will be forced to reduce the size of their chicken flocks to expand the size of the cage.

The Los Angeles Times estimates egg prices will jump between 10 and 40 percent at the wholesale level, while really flying high at retail where the skillet meets the flame.

According to CaPoliticalNews.com, “Iowa is the largest egg-producing state, generating nearly 14.5 billion eggs per year. The Iowa egg industry contributes about $2 billion in sales and impacts about 8,000 jobs, according to the governor’s office. Iowa officials say the California law unfairly burdens local farmers and could eventually put some of them out of business. An estimated 30 percent of the eggs imported by California are produced in Iowa.”

So attorneys general for eight different states had themselves a little hen party and decided to file suit against the Golden State. The lawsuit contends the Commerce Clause of the Constitution forbids “any state from enacting legislation that regulates conduct outside its borders, protects its own citizens from out-of-state competition, or places undue burdens on interstate commerce.” Which is pretty much the California chicken law in an eggshell.

The Constitution allows California to require chickens within its borders to have manicures and access to Animal Planet if it wishes, but it can’t require other states to do so.

There are some exaggerated misconceptions surrounding the law. Farmers are not required install a bell that rings each time an egg is laid so the chicken embryo can we whisked off to a neo–natal unit. And egg farmers don’t have to furnish the poultry couple with a sonogram of the future offspring. (Would be really heartwarming if the legislature — a bastion of abortion hardliners — would display the same concern for the 93,000 human embryos that are aborted each year in their state.)

So far state government has not seen fit to expand its nanny state to include the egg police.

Instead local cops will be investigating instances of fowl play in their jurisdictions.

Another instance of a nuisance ordinance that burdens police, reduces respect for important laws and erodes community support for law enforcement.

Naturally common sense among California bureaucrats is as scarce as hen’s teeth in this situation. The obvious solution would be for the state to proudly mark eggs produced in luxury condominium conditions and make this certification known to discerning egg consumers within the state.

They could then buy the more expensive eggs with a clear conscience and let more callous shoppers buy the out–of–state eggs. But the California prefers to play chicken with the rest of the country and leave the outcome, and egg pricing, to the court system.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.


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In a state where illegal aliens are often stacked like cordwood in suburban crash pads, the chickens are required to come home to roost in a dwelling large enough spread their wings.
california, chicken, eggs
Monday, 26 January 2015 08:06 AM
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