STAND. COM. REP. NO. 65
RE: S.B. No. 346
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 346 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FARM ANIMALS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the confinement of egg-laying hens in a cruel manner and prohibit business owners and operators from selling certain products made from animals confined in a cruel manner beginning on December 31, 2025.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Friends of the Earth, Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, Natural Resources Defense Council, Hawaiian Humane Society, World Animal Protection, Mercy for Animals, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Equality, Animal Outlook, Farm Sanctuary, The Human League, Compassion in World Farming, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Supersistence, and Center for Biological Diversity. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawaiian Egg Company, Peterson's Upland Farm LLC, and one individual.
Your Committee finds that certain methods of farm animal containment are cruel to animals and threaten human health and safety by increasing the risk of foodborne illness. Additionally, battery cage facilities have been linked to high levels of air contamination from ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as well as organic compounds, large amounts of pesticide, and pharmaceutical residues that can be transported into nearby soil, causing groundwater pollution and contaminating surface waters. This measure prevents cruelty to farm animals by phasing out extreme methods of farm animal confinement and the sale of products produced through extreme confinement.
Your Committee notes the testifiers' concerns that requiring local egg producers to be one hundred percent cage free by 2025 may increase production costs, which can be passed onto the consumer and the insolvency of farms. Further, your Committee notes additional concerns surrounding the uncertainty of the meaning of the term "confinement in a cruel manner."
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture and Environment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 346, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 346, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Commerce and Consumer Protection and Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair