S‑0407.2   _____________________________________________






State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Patterson, Kohl‑Welles, Fairley, Costa, Thibaudeau, Finkbeiner, Regala, Kline and Carlson


Read first time 02/01/2001.  Referred to Committee on Agriculture & International Trade.

_1      AN ACT Relating to egg-laying birds; amending RCW 69.25.070;

_2  adding a new section to chapter 43.70 RCW; creating a new section;

_3  and prescribing penalties.




_5      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds and declares that:

_6      (1) The Salmonella enteritidis (Se) bacteria in shell eggs has

_7  increasingly been implicated as a primary cause of foodborne

_8  illness in Washington;

_9      (2) Salmonella bacteria can cause a variety of serious health

10  problems, including flu-like symptoms, bloodstream infections,

11  arthritis, meningitis, and sometimes death;

12      (3) Once infected, chickens can pass the pathogen directly from

13  their ovaries to the contents of the eggs they lay;

14      (4) Forcing egg-laying hens to molt includes withholding food

15  from the hens for up to fourteen days and withholding water from

16  the hens for up to three days;

17      (5) The practice of forcing the molting of egg-laying hens can

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_1  contribute to increased Salmonella levels because the birds'

_2  immune systems become severely impaired by prolonged food and

_3  water deprivation;

_4      (6) Many egg-laying hens in Washington undergo forced molting;

_5  and

_6      (7) Regulation of forced molting practices by the department of

_7  health is essential for the preservation of the public's health.


_8      NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 43.70

_9  RCW to read as follows:

10      (1) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this

11  section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

12      (a) "Harm" means physical injury or a stress reaction

13  including, but not limited to, the following:  A compromised immune

14  system, rapid weight loss, cannibalism, reduction in appetite,

15  feather-picking, excessive drinking, and unresponsiveness.

16      (b) "Induced or forced molt" means to artificially manipulate a

17  bird's processes normally associated with seasonal feather loss

18  and regrowth for the purposes of manipulating egg production and

19  the economics of production.

20      (2) No egg handler may negligently deprive any bird used for

21  egg-laying purposes of clean water or nutritious food or otherwise

22  cause an induced or forced molt that results in harm to the egg-

23  laying bird.

24      (3) A person who violates this section is subject to the

25  penalties provided for in this chapter.  Whenever a person has

26  violated this section, the department of health must notify the

27  department of agriculture of the violation so that the department

28  of agriculture may take appropriate action under RCW 69.25.070.

29      (4) The department of health may adopt rules as necessary to

30  implement this section.


31      Sec. 3.  RCW 69.25.070 and 1975 1st ex.s. c 201 s 8 are each

32  amended to read as follows:

33      The department may deny, suspend, revoke, or issue a license or

34  a conditional license if it determines that an applicant or

35  licensee has committed any of the following acts:

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_1      (1) That the applicant or licensee is violating or has violated

_2  any of the provisions of this chapter or rules ((and regulations))

_3  adopted thereunder or violated section 2 of this act.

_4      (2) That the application contains any materially false or

_5  misleading statement or involves any misrepresentation by any

_6  officer, agent, or employee of the applicant.

_7      (3) That the applicant or licensee has concealed or withheld

_8  any facts regarding any violation of this chapter by any officer,

_9  agent, or employee of the applicant or licensee.


‑‑‑ END ‑‑‑

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