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Missouri and a dozen other states sue to stop cage-free eggs law in Massachusetts

Missouri is among 13 states that are suing Massachusetts over a voter-approved law that will ban the sale of eggs and other food products from farm animals that were confined in overly restrictive cages.

The states, led by Indiana, filed the lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court last week. It follows another action filed by 13 states earlier in the month against California, which has a similar law.

The 2016 ballot question in Massachusetts was backed by more than 77 percent of voters. It requires, among other things, that only cage-free eggs be sold in the state by 2022, regardless of where the eggs were produced.

The law backed by animal protection groups defines an overly restrictive cage as one that would prevent an egg-laying hen, breeding pig or calf raised for veal from standing up, turning around or fully extending its limbs.

In their complaint, the states claim that Massachusetts is attempting to impose its own regulatory standards on farmers in other states, in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said it had received the lawsuit and was reviewing it, but had no additional comment.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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