THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO FARM ANIMALS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to improve the regulation of egg production and sales to protect the health and welfare of consumers, promote food safety, advance animal welfare, and protect against the negative fiscal effects on the State associated with the lack of effective regulation of egg production and sales.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
confinement standards for egg-laying hens
§ -A Definitions. As used in this chapter:
"Business owner or operator" means any person who owns or controls the operations of a business.
"Cage-free housing system" means an indoor or outdoor controlled environment for egg-laying hens within which hens are free to roam unrestricted; are provided enrichments that allow them to exhibit natural behaviors, including scratch areas, perches, nest boxes, and dust bathing areas; and within which farm employees can provide care while standing within the hens' usable floor space. "Cage-free housing system" includes:
(1) Multi-tiered aviaries;
(2) Partially-slatted systems; and
(3) Single-level all-litter floor systems.
"Cage-free housing systems" 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.
"Confined in a cruel manner" means the confinement of an egg-laying hen in an enclosure other than a cage-free housing system with less than:
(1) One square foot of usable floor space per hen in multi-tiered aviaries, partially-slatted systems, or any other cage-free system that provides hens with unfettered access to vertical space; or
(2) One and a half square feet of usable floor space per hen in a single-level all-litter floor system, or any other cage-free system that does not provide hens with unfettered access to vertical space.
"Egg-laying hen" means a female domesticated chicken, turkey, duck, goose, or guinea fowl kept for the purpose of commercial egg production.
"Egg products" means eggs of an egg-laying hen broken from the shells and intended for human food, whether in liquid, solid, dried, or frozen form; whether raw or cooked; and with the yolks and whites in their natural proportions, or with the yolks and whites separated, mixed, or mixed and strained. The term does not include combination food products, including pancake mixes, cake mixes, cookies, pizzas, cookie dough, ice cream, or similar food products that consist of more than egg products, sugar, salt, water, seasoning, coloring, flavoring, preservatives, stabilizers, and similar food additives.
"Enclosure" means a structure used to confine an egg-laying hen or hens.
"Farm" means the land, building, support facilities, and other equipment that are wholly or partially used for the commercial production of animals or animal products used for food. The term does not include live animal markets, establishments, or other official plants at which mandatory inspection is maintained under the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. section 1031, et seq.).
"Farm owner or operator" means any person who owns or controls the operations of a farm.
"Multi-tiered aviary" means a cage-free housing system in which hens have unfettered access to multiple elevated platforms that provide hens with usable floor space both on top of and underneath the platforms.
"Partially-slatted system" means a cage-free housing system in which hens have unfettered access to elevated flat platforms under which manure drops through the flooring to a pit or litter removal belt below the platform.
"Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, limited liability company, corporation, estate, trust, receiver, or syndicate.
"Sale" means a commercial sale by a business that sells any item covered by this chapter, but does not include any sale undertaken at an establishment at which mandatory inspection is maintained under the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. section 1031, et seq.). For purposes of this chapter, a "sale" shall be deemed to occur at the location where the buyer takes physical possession of the item.
"Shell egg" means a whole egg of an egg-laying hen in its shell form that is intended for use as human food.
"Single-level all-litter floor system" means a cage-free housing system bedded with litter, in which hens have limited or no access to elevated flat platforms.
"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 the animals in an enclosure by the number of animals in that enclosure. "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.
§ -B Prohibitions. Beginning June 30, 2027:
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a farm owner or operator within the State to knowingly cause any egg-laying hen to be confined in a cruel manner.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for a business owner or operator to knowingly engage in the sale in the State of any shell egg or egg product that the business owner or operator knows or should know was produced by an egg-laying hen that was confined in a cruel manner.
§ -C Exceptions. This chapter shall not apply during:
(1) Medical research;
(2) Examination, testing, or individual treatment or operation for veterinary purposes performed by or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian;
(4) State or county fair exhibitions, 4-H programs, and similar exhibitions;
(5) Slaughter in accordance with any applicable laws, rules, and regulations; or
(6) Temporary periods for animal husbandry purposes for no more than six hours in a twenty—four hour period and no more than twenty-four hours total in a thirty-day period.
§ -D Applicability. This chapter shall not apply to a farm owner or operator who exclusively produces shell eggs, with an annual egg production from a flock of ten thousand or fewer egg-laying hens provided that:
(1) The farm owner or operator does not knowingly cause any egg-laying hen to be confined with less than one square foot of usable floor space per hen, unless such confinement is exempt pursuant to section -C; and
(2) Any egg-laying hen added to the flock after June 30, 2027, that raises the farm's total flock size to more than ten thousand egg-laying hens is not confined in a cruel manner.
§ -E Penalties. (a) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine in an amount not less than $500 and not to exceed $1,000 per violation.
(b) In addition to the penalties listed in subsection (a), a violation of section -B(b) shall be considered an unfair method of competition and unfair or deceptive trade practice under chapter 481A, upon which any person may bring an action.
§ -F Defense. It shall be a defense to any action to enforce this chapter that a business owner or operator relied in good faith upon a written certification by the supplier that the shell egg or egg product was not derived from an egg-laying hen that was confined in a cruel manner.
§ -G Rules. The department of agriculture shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this chapter.
§ -H Construction. The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other law protecting animal welfare. This chapter shall not be construed to limit any other state laws or rules protecting the welfare of animals or to prevent the counties from adopting and enforcing ordinances, laws, and rules that are more restrictive than this chapter."
SECTION 3. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.
SECTION 4. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Egg-Laying Hens; Confinement Standards; Agriculture
Requires farm owner or operators to confine egg-laying hens in accordance with the standards established in this measure. Effective 6/30/27 prohibits a business owner or operator from selling shell eggs or egg products that are produced by egg-laying hens that were confined in a cruel manner. (SD2)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.