In 2008, California upped their egg-laying hen regulations by requiring all eggs sold in the state to be sourced from chickens that are given more space to move around. Six year later, most other states still haven't caught up -- some states are even opposed to California's law, claiming that it imposes laws on other states and violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause by requiring farmers in other states to update their cages. Missouri, according to the New York Times, has been at the forefront of this resistance:
The Missouri attorney general has filed a lawsuit to block the California egg rules, and at least three other states are considering doing the same. The beef and pork lobbies are also lining up against the California rules in an effort to prevent any new restrictions on raising livestock.
And Missouri isn't alone -- Nebraska, Arkansas and the nation's largest egg producer, Iowa have all considered supporting the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, some states have made progress when it comes to egg-laying hens, by attacking the use of battery cages which are cramped cages that prevent the birds from stretching their wings. Here's a breakdown of U.S. states that have already or are working towards banning them:
Michigan passed a law to ban battery cage confinement in 2009.
Ohio, the nation's second-largest egg-producing state, placed a moratorium on the construction of new cage egg-production facilities.
Legislation to ban the cages will be introduced in Massachusetts soon, according to Farm Sanctuary.
Internationally, progress is being made, too -- in 1992, Switzerland became the first country to ban battery cages, followed by a 1999 European Union directory for all countries to ban them after a 12-year phase-out process.
As animal advocates push for tighter regulations and more regional and federal battery cage bans, consumers can choose not to support the practice by buying cage-free eggs, and by learning more about humane hen production and the meaning of cage-free here.