Pork Industry Challenging California Animal Production Rules

Associated Press writer John Antczak reported last week that, “The pork industry is challenging the constitutionality of a voter-approved California measure that will prohibit the sale of meat products from hogs born to sows confined in spaces that don’t meet new minimum size requirements.

“A lawsuit filed late Thursday in San Diego federal court by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation targets Proposition 12, which voters overwhelmingly passed a year ago and goes into effect in 2022.

“‘Proposition 12 has thrown a giant wrench into the workings of the interstate market in pork,’ the filing states.”

The AP article noted that, “The measure bans the sale in California of pork and veal from farm animals raised in conditions that don’t meet its standards. It also requires that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens.

The rules will apply to pork products coming to California from farmers nationwide, not just from in-state farms. The industry lawsuit contends that extraterritorial reach intrudes on authority given to Congress.

“‘Plaintiffs seek a declaration that Proposition 12’s requirements with regard to breeding pigs violate the Commerce Clause and principles of interstate federalism embodied in the U.S. Constitution, and an injunction against the enforcement of Proposition 12’s requirements concerning pork,’ the lawsuit states.”

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