This chapter is known as “Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens.”
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 1, eff. May 5, 2021.
As used in this chapter:
(1)(a) “Cage-free housing system” means an indoor or outdoor controlled environment for egg-laying hens where:
(i) for an indoor environment, the egg-laying hens are free to roam unrestricted except by the following:
(A) exterior walls; or
(B) interior fencing used to contain the entire egg-laying hen flock within the building or subdivide flocks into smaller groups if farm employees can walk through each contained or subdivided area to provide care to egg-laying hens and if each egg-laying hen has at least the amount of usable floor space per hen required by the 2017 edition of the United Egg Producers’ Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg-Laying Flocks: Guidelines for Cage-Free Housing;
(ii) egg-laying hens are provided enrichments that allow them to exhibit natural behaviors including, at a minimum, scratch areas, perches, nest boxes, and dust bathing areas; and (iii) farm employees can provide care while standing within the egg-laying hens’ usable floor space.
(b) “Cage-free housing system” includes, to the extent the system is a system described in Subsection (1)(a) and is not excluded by Subsection (1)(c), a multi-tiered aviary, partially slatted system, single-level all-litter floor system, and any future system that is a system described in Subsection (1)(a) and is not excluded by Subsection (1)(c).
(c) “Cage-free housing system” does not include systems commonly described as battery cages, colony cages, enriched cages, enriched colony cages, modified cages, convertible cages, furnished cages, or similar cage systems.
(2) “Egg-laying hen” means a female domesticated chicken kept for the purpose of commercial egg production.
(3) “Enclosure” means a structure used to confine an egg-laying hen.
(4)(a) “Farm” means the land, buildings, support facilities, and other equipment that are wholly or partially used for the commercial production of animals or animal products used for food.
(b) “Farm” does not include live animal markets or official plants at which mandatory inspection is maintained under the federal Egg Products Inspection Act, 21 U.S.C. Sec. 1031 et seq.
(5) “Farm owner or operator” means a person that owns a controlling interest in a farm or controls the operations of a farm.
(6) “Multi-tiered aviary” means a cage-free housing system where egg-laying hens have unfettered access to multiple elevated flat platforms that provide the egg-laying hens with usable floor space both on top of and underneath the platforms.
(7) “Partially slatted system” means a cage-free housing system where egg-laying hens have unfettered access to elevated flat platforms under which manure drops through the flooring to a pit or litter removal belt below.
(8) “Shell egg” means a whole egg of an egg-laying hen in the egg’s shell form, intended for use as human food.
(9) “Single-level all-litter floor system” means a cage-free housing system bedded with litter where egg-laying hens have limited or no access to elevated flat platforms.
(10)(a) “Usable floor space” means the total square footage of floor space provided to each egg-laying hen, as calculated by dividing the total square footage of floor space provided to egg-laying hens in an enclosure by the total number of egg-laying hens in that enclosure.
(b) “Usable floor space” includes both ground space and elevated level or nearly level flat platforms upon which hens can roost, but does not include perches or ramps.
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 2, eff. May 5, 2021.
Beginning on January 1, 2025, a farm owner or operator may not knowingly confine an egg-laying hen in an enclosure:
(1) that is not a cage-free housing system; or
(2) that has less than the amount of usable floor space per hen as required by the 2017 edition of the United Egg Producers’ Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg-Laying Flocks: Guidelines for Cage-Free Housing.
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 3, eff. May 5, 2021.
Section 4-4a-103 does not apply to an egg-laying hen:
(1) used for medical research;
(2) during examination, testing, individual treatment, or operation for veterinary purposes, but only if performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian;
(3) during transportation;
(4) at state or county fair exhibitions, 4-H programs, and similar exhibitions;
(5) during slaughter conducted in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations; or
(6) kept for temporary animal husbandry purposes of no more than six hours in any 24-hour period and no more than 24 hours total in any 30-day period.
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 4, eff. May 5, 2021.
This chapter does not apply to the production of shell eggs in the state by a farm with fewer than 3,000 egg-laying hens.
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 5, eff. May 5, 2021.
(1) The department shall enforce this chapter.
(2) A person subject to this chapter shall allow the department access during regular business hours to facilities and records pertinent to activities subject to this chapter.
(3) The department shall, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, make rules governing the inspection of farms to ensure compliance with this chapter.
(4)(a) The department may use an inspection provider or process verification provider to ensure compliance with this chapter.
(b) To rely on an inspection provider or process verification provider, the department must approve the specific inspection provider or process verification provider as competent to ensure compliance with this chapter.
(5)(a) If the department determines that a person subject to this chapter is in violation of a provision of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the department shall provide the person with a written notice that:
(i) describes each violation identified by the department; and
(ii) states a reasonable deadline by which the person is required to cure the violation.
(b) If a person who receives a notice issued under Subsection (5)(a) does not cure a violation identified in the notice before the deadline stated in the notice, the department may impose a civil fine of $100 per written notice, regardless of the number of violations identified in the notice.
(c) If a violation is not cured after the department provides a person with written notice of the violation and a reasonable opportunity to cure, the department may seek a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction to prevent further violation of this chapter.
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 6, eff. May 5, 2021.
(1) The department shall provide a report on this chapter to the Business and Labor Interim Committee during or before the November interim meeting in 2023.
(2) The report described in Subsection (1) shall include an update on:
(a) efforts taken by farm owners and operators to come into compliance with Section 4-4a-103; and
(b) the retail demand for and conditions related to the sale of cage-free eggs.
Laws 2021, c. 323, § 7, eff. May 5, 2021.