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Branstad Joins Lawsuit Opposed To New Chicken Rules

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad says he has joined a lawsuit seeking to strike down a California law regulating the living conditions of chickens.

Branstad announced Thursday he'd joined the lawsuit filed in February by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. Attorneys general in Alabama, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oklahoma also have joined the lawsuit.

It seeks to block a California law taking effect in 2015 that prohibits eggs from being sold there if they come from hens raised in cages that don't comply with California's new size and space requirements. The voter-approved law requires that egg-laying hens, pigs and calves be given enough space to lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs.

Iowa is the nation's top egg producer. About 9 percent of those eggs are sold in California.