Massachusetts to set new guidelines to avoid egg shortage

December 20, 2021 GMT

BOSTON, Mass. (AP) — A potential egg shortage in Massachusetts has pushed state lawmakers to implement a new set of standards for the egg industry, averting projected scarcity in 2022.

Lawmakers agreed to add new standards to a 2016 voter-approved animal welfare law that required all eggs and meat farmed and sold in the state to come from livestock that was not confined to tight spaces. The new standards would allow farmers to hold animals in spaces less than 1.5 square feet of space, The Boston Globe reported on Sunday.

Egg industry leaders said that if the state legislature did not make changes to the law, up to 90% of the egg supply in the state would disappear in January 2022.

Since the 2016 voter-approved law, the egg industry said that the industry standard has changed. Animal welfare groups like the Humane Society of The United States support a new standard that would require 1-square foot per bird in a multi-tier aviary, which would allow hens to move vertically and require less floor space.

If lawmakers do not oppose the amendment, it is expected to pass in both the House and Senate on Monday, the newspaper said.