HB20-1343 may not exactly have a melodic ring to it, but it’s music to our vegan ears. As we recently learned in an article from Live Kindly, HB20-1343 refers to the Egg-laying Hen Confinement Standards which require a ban on cage confinement for egg-laying hens.

The bill, which was sponsored by Dylan Roberts, a member of the Colorado House of Representatives, and Colorado Senator Kerry Donovan, was signed into law by the state’s governor Jared Polis. First, the law specifies that by January 1, 2023, “hens [are] to be confined in an enclosure with at least one square foot of usable floor space per hen” and “...by January 1, 2025, hens [are] to be confined in a cage-free housing system,” with features including at least one square-foot of usable floor space per hen as well as other improved living conditions for the animals. Farmers who don’t adhere to this can face a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.

Colorado becomes the sixth state to outlaw cages for egg-laying chickens, after California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington state. More states are expected to follow the Colorado ban. We can not say that this is huge progress, but it's progress.

The victory represents enhanced animal welfare for some six million hens who are held in incredibly tiny cages—so small, in fact, they can’t spread their wings⁠—and will mark the sixth state in the country to outlaw such caged confinement for egg-laying chickens.

While January of 2025 is still a ways off, we’re hopeful this law will pave the way for many states to follow suit to help improve the living conditions of animals across the country.

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