United Poultry Concerns
March 23, 2000

CONTACTS: Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns 757-678-7875
Teri Barnato, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights 530-759-8106
Assemblyman Ted Lempert 916-319-2021

California Introduces First Bill to Ban Forced Molting
AB 2141 Targets Cruel Treatment of Hens, Contaminated Eggs

California Assembly Member Ted Lempert (D/Palo Alto) has introduced a landmark bill which would ban the practice of starving hens known as forced molting, a primary cause of Salmonella enteritidis in hens, eggs, and consumers of eggs.

AB 2141 would make it unlawful to deprive any hen used for egg- laying purposes of food or water or otherwise cause a forced molt that results in harm to the bird.

California egg producers currently remove ALL food from hens for an average of 10 to 14 days to manipulate egg laying and the economics of production. The practice disrupts the hens' natural immunity predisposing them to Salmonella infestation. 90 percent of the more than 25 million laying hens in California are subjected to this cruel, disease-producing practice, which is illegal in Europe and the UK.

AB 2141 is the first legislative step towards banning forced molting in the United States. While the US Department of Agriculture has urged the US egg industry to eliminate forced molting in recognition of the public health risks of this inhumane practice which the USDA has recognized as inhumane, the egg industry is fighting to retain it, regardless of the suffering of the hens and of humans.

"Assemblyman Lempert's bill addresses an animal welfare abuse documented for 10 years as greatly increasing the risk of making people sick. It isn't just acute food poisoning. Arthritis and death are involved," said Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns, an organizational sponsor of the bill. "The cruelty and contamination are linked. Assemblyman Lempert's bill seeks to prohibit a harmful practice that is also cruel. We're delighted to be on board."

United Poultry Concerns. March 23, 2000

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(California Introduces First Bill to Ban Forced Molting)