On July 7th, two groups that are normally at odds with each other — the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers [who produce factory farmed eggs] — came to a landmark agreement that could result in a complete makeover of the U.S. egg industry and improve the treatment of the 280 million laying hens used each year in US.
The deal comes after animal welfare groups had clandestinely recorded videos showing poor conditions on factory farms and after various states have sought to set more humane standards for hens. Moreover the egg producers had been struggling to improve their image after tainted eggs last year sickened thousands of people in a nationwide salmonella outbreak. The groups said they would ask Congress to pass a law enacting the new standards. This would be the first federal law addressing the treatment of farm animals and would pre-empt efforts in several states to set their own standards. See link to article about the agreement and what it entails.