Texas has joined a dozen states in a lawsuit over cage-free products sales.
A Massachusetts law passed in 2016 is set to limit sales of eggs, veal, and poultry in that state to only sellers of cage-free products by 2022. That means no matter what state the products are produced in, the products must come from cage-free sources.
Thirteen states, mostly in the South and Midwest say Massachusetts is imposing an unconstitutional law by tying to govern what other states can do. And while supporters of the law say it is meant to mandate more humane farm conditions for livestock, critics also cite higher costs of production. A similar lawsuit against California claims cage-free produce costs American consumers $350 million a year than standard farming practices.
The Humane Society of the United States, an advocate of the Massachusetts law, says it’s unlikely the lawsuit will be successful. Many businesses that operate in Texas, including Brookshires, Walmart, Kroger, and HEB stores, have already set in motion plans to offer only cage-free eggs by 2022 to 2025.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Texas hens lay around 350 to 500 million eggs a month.