Earlier this week two animal activist groups, The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary, filed initiative language on egg production in Washington State. The language is similar to the text of Prop 2 in California in that it would require egg producers in the state to give hens enough room to turn around and extend their wings.
However this measure also includes language that stipulates all eggs sold in the state must be produced on farms that meet the same standards. This effectively bans retailers from importing eggs from non HSUS – regulated states.
“We’re trying to move across the country with this,” is how Alison Longley of Farm Sanctuary described the effort. Locally, the two national activist groups are organizing under the name Washingtonians for Humane Farms.
It took a while for HSUS to realize that after Prop 2 passed in California, retailers would import traditionally produced eggs from neighboring states in an effort to skirt the cost inflating rules. They quickly doubled down on their mission to drive up the cost of food for everyone in California by imposing the import ban on traditionally produced eggs.
It seems that while they are slow to catch on to basic economics, their desire to shape the food buying habits of voters by reducing choice is as strong as ever. While the import ban is included in the text of the Washington proposition, it will probably not withstand the Constitutional sniff test. (Darn Commerce Clause)
Greg Satrum, vice president of Willamette Egg Farms, said producers will fight the initiative. “Based on actions they’ve taken in other states, it likely will not be anything that egg producers in Washington could support,” he told the Seattle Times.