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Why an Egg Amendment in Farm Bill Has Pig Lobbyists Flapping Why an Egg Amendment in Farm Bill Has Pig Lobbyists Flapping

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Why an Egg Amendment in Farm Bill Has Pig Lobbyists Flapping

Pigs don't lay eggs.

But given how closely lobbyists for pork, cattle, and sheep farmers will be watching Thursday's Senate hearing on the Eggs Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, it would be easy to assume a sudden change in reproductive biology.

The real explanation is less science fiction. These producers are concerned that the bill creating a national standard for cage sizes for egg-laying hens (among other things) could set a precedent.

The National Pork Producers Council, for example, worries that if chickens are given the right to more space in their cages, then so too will pigs.

"So our animals can't turn around for the 2.5 years that they are in the stalls producing piglets," said Dave Warner, a spokesman for NPPC. "I don't know who asked the sow if she wanted to turn around.... The only real measure of their well-being we have is the number of piglets per birth, and that's at an all-time high."

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