We have had both sides of Proposition 2, that would among other animal husbandry matters, eradicate the use of cages for chickens. The prime mover behind the initiative is the Humane Society of the United States–the nation’s wealthiest animal rights group (as I view it) that doesn’t preach the ideology but focuses on lawsuits, initiatives, education about animal protection, etc.
In past installments, both sides have weighed in here about the impact of the price of eggs. Now the University of California Agriculture Center has a study out that predicts the destruction of the California egg industry if Proposition 2 passes. From the report:
Our analysis indicates that the expected impact would be the almost complete elimination of egg production in California within the five-year adjustment period. Non-cage production costs are simply too far above the costs of the cage systems used in other states to allow California producers to compete with imported eggs in the conventional egg market. The most likely outcome, therefore, is the elimination of almost all of the California egg industry over a very few years.
Now, one could say that the UC study was agriculture industry friendly. But I think one could also say, that HSUS and other animal rightists would shed not a tear if the entire egg industry were to be destroyed.