Experts testifying to California’s joint assembly and senate agriculture committee have told lawmakers producing eggs “off the floor” is safer, healthier and better for animal welfare.
Dr. Bruce R. Charlton, branch chief for the animal health and food safety laboratory system at the University of California, noted that modern cage housing systems that have taken egg production “off the floor” evolved over time to decrease disease in layers and, therefore, improve their welfare.
He added that eggs are safer today “because chickens are separated from their manure,” pointing to how bacteria on eggs laid by hens on the floor is “15 times greater” than on eggs laid by hens in modern production systems.
Veterinarian Dr. Carol J. Cardona said today’s cage, indoor production systems protects flocks from deadly infections such as avian influenza.
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