Egg producer sues California for interpretation of Prop 2

Rod Smith | Feedstuffs | 12/9/2010

Commercial egg producer J.S. West & Co. yesterday filed a lawsuit in a California court asking for the court to interpret the state’s 2008 ballot initiative that requires a certain degree of housing space for hens in layer barns.

West emphasized that it is not challenging the legality of the initiative but needs its language interpreted so the company and other producers know the amount of space and, therefore, the kind of housing that will be needed to be in compliance with the measure.

West said the language is too vague for producers to know how to go forward, which will require investing millions of dollars in new housing.

The measure becomes effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The initiative — which was listed on the 2008 ballot as Proposition 2 and is referred to as “Prop 2” — requires that all farm animals, “for all or the majority of any day,” not be confined or tethered in a manner that prevents them from lying or sitting down, standing up, turning around or fully extending their limbs without touching another animal or an enclosure such as a cage or stall.

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