In a unanimous vote, the Israeli government’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee has approved new legislation that will prevent egg-laying hens from living in cage-type chicken coops.
The legislation will go into effect in 2037, which allows egg farmers to prepare and upgrade their facilities.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, about 93 percent of Israel’s egg-laying coops are cages of various types.
Until the legislation goes into effect, a minimum living space has been set for egg-laying hens in existing coops.
Moreover, under the new regulations, the practice of forcibly starving egg-laying hens for 10 days, with the objective of creating an additional egg-laying cycle for them, will be officially banned.
Also prohibited will be the trimming of the beaks of egg-laying hens after they have been taken out of the hatchery.
The new law will require chicken-industry workers to seek medical treatment or euthanasia to prevent the suffering of a sick hen, or a hen injured by a poultry worker.
The legislation also stipulates that a veterinarian or poultry-breeding guide must be consulted if there is an extraordinary event, such as a sudden increase in mortality rates in a coop or a sudden decrease in egg-laying.
The regulations also set advanced standards for the living conditions of egg-laying hens that will ensure product safety for consumers as well as provide a significant improvement in the welfare of hens.
Among other things, the law calls for new and upgraded infrastructure and equipment for coops, including better ventilation, lighting and air conditioning.