THE STATE of Washington has signed into law new legislation that will prevent the production and sale of caged eggs, regardless of where they were produced.

It goes further than legislation passed in states like California and Massachusetts which have banned the production system within the state territory but not the sale of eggs from caged hens.

New legislation was signed by state governor Jay Inslee in early May that will see the ban in place by the end of 2023.

It will mean any egg sold in the state was produced in a system that meets the United Egg Producers’ 2017 standard for cage-free production.

A summary of public opinion posted in the bill said: “This is an issue that has been around for a while, and there appears to be an agreed-upon approach. 

“Cage-free egg production facilities are the future.  Many companies have already made commitments to carrying eggs and egg products produced under cage-free guidelines.”

President of the Humane Society of the United States Kitty Block said: “The laws in Washington, California and Massachusetts set a great precedent for other states and countries to follow, and further support corporate policy commitments reforming how farm animals are raised.”

She added the “historic” legislation would help the lives of eight million hens a year.