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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Good news for the chick crazy


Congress is reviewing a proposal for H.R. 3798, legislation that would set national regulations for the living conditions of all egg-laying hens. If passed, our feathery friends could look forward to a ban on forced starvation, a practice that deprives hens of food for up to two weeks to manipulate their hormones, and an increase in laying space. The bill also outlines a new labeling system in which the caged or uncaged status of the mother hen would be printed right on the egg carton. Leah Garcés, USA Director of the Atlanta-based organization Compassion in World Farming, said the following:

This legislation would improve the lives of hundreds of millions of laying hens, who would otherwise be kept in barren, overcrowded cages. This marks the beginning of the end of cruelty to hens in the United States. We saw this happen in Europe. It is only a matter of time before the US follows suit.

Atlanta, an increasingly chicken-centric city, should keep its fingers crossed. In the meantime, local poultry aficionados are keeping themselves busy by raising awareness on the ethics and methods behind urban chicken coops. In September, the Oakhurst Community Garden Project and Georgia Organics held the Urban Coop Tour, which took guests to visit over 20 coops in Decatur, Grant Park, and Virginia-Highland. Now, the Oakhurst Community Garden Project is getting ready for its Chicks In the City Symposium in Oakhurst Village on Sat., Feb. 25, which will provide a full day of classes on the basics of coop culture. And there's always Springer Mountain Farms, the local purveyor of all things chickeny, located in Northeast Georgia.

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