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How Are San Diego Farmers Complying With New Animal Cage Law?

New Farm Animal Law Goes Into Effect - How Are San Diego Farmers Complying?

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California farmers are trying to balance the price of eggs and the humane treatment of animals now that Proposition 2 has gone into effect.

You may have a dim memory of the state ballot initiative that voters approved in 2008 to ban cramped cages and crates for farm animals. It was largely aimed at eradicating battery cages in chicken farming. The law took effect this year.

"We are celebrating that this went into effect on Jan. 1," San Diego Humane Society President Gary Weitzman told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. "What Proposition 2 did is ensure that these animals could be animals — that they can stand up and move around."

While the law improved conditions for chickens, the price of eggs has climbed by as much as 50 percent to 80 percent, said Frank Hilliker, owner of Hilliker's Ranch Fresh Eggs in Lakeside.

Hilliker, who made a $1 million overhaul to the henhouses in his family business, said prices could change toward the end of January as the season changes.

"They might even go up more," Hilliker said. "California can only have California-compliant eggs, and if there aren't enough California-compliant eggs prices are going to go up."

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