LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan would become the fifth state to require that egg-laying hens be housed in cage-free areas under legislation approved by the state House and backed as aligning farms with where the industry is headed.

The main bill is part of a broader update of the state's animal industry law. The measure would change and delay confinement standards for hens.

Each hen currently must be confined in a 1-square-foot space by April. The bill would instead require each egg-laying hen to be housed in a cage-free system before 2025.

Animal-rights advocates say cage-free housing provides a better quality of life for hens.

The Senate previously passed the bills, so they should reach Gov. Gretchen Whitmer soon once the Senate concurs with a change in the primary bill.

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