The president of the National Pork Producers Council, which fought California’s Proposition 12 animal welfare law all the way to the Supreme Court, said on Tuesday he won’t convert his Missouri hog farm to satisfy the California rules. Scott Hays told reporters that it wasn’t clear if making the required renovations, meant to give breeding sows more room to move about, would pay off.
Large-scale farmers and ranchers are slightly more optimistic than they were last month that Congress will pass a farm bill this year, but they doubt it will be a vehicle for overturning California’s Proposition 12 animal welfare law, said the Ag Economy Barometer on Wednesday. The pork industry is seeking a legislative override of Prop 12 after losing a Supreme Court challenge to the voter-approved law in May.
Irked by California’s Proposition 12, seven farm-state senators announced legislation on Thursday to prohibit states from regulating agricultural production in other states. Virtually anyone — producer, distributor, trade group, transporter, consumer, and laborer were named in the bill — would be empowered to challenge such regulatory infringement in court and seek financial compensation.
The meat industry encouraged farm-state lawmakers on Wednesday to legislatively override the Supreme Court ruling that gives states the power to set animal welfare standards and regulate meat sales. The Supreme Court decision upholding California’s Proposition 12 “opens the door to chaos,” said Bryan Burns of the North American Meat Institute.
In a 5-4 decision on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a California law that regulates the treatment of sows and other farmed animals and prevents the sale of meat products from other states that do not meet its requirements. The Humane Society of America has called it “the strongest law in the world addressing animal confinement,” while farm interests claim that it interferes with interstate commerce protected by the U.S. Constitution. (No paywall)
California’s animal welfare regulations, among the strictest in the nation, have spawned a series of court challenges. This week, those regulations became part of the farm bill debate. No paywall