Supreme Court to assess California pig treatment law

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to a California law that seeks to address animal cruelty by requirin...


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a challenge to a California law that seeks to address animal cruelty by requiring pork sold in the state to come from breeding pigs housed in spaces that allow them to move freely.

The law, Proposition 12, a 2018 ballot measure that was approved by more than 60% of state voters, was challenged by two trade groups who said it interfered with interstate commerce and good practices. commercial.

“Almost no sow farmers in the country meet the Proposition 12 sow housing requirements, and most believe these requirements would harm their animals, their employees and their operations,” the attorneys for the parties said. two groups – the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation -. the judges in their request for review.

In a brief Urging judges to dismiss the trade groups’ appeal, California attorney general Rob Bonta said his state was allowed to regulate sales there, adding that the law “is completely indifferent to how the products sold in other states are priced or produced”.

He added that “a number of pork producers and suppliers have publicly announced that they have taken steps to ensure that their products will continue to be sold legally in California.” Those suppliers include Tyson and Hormel, Mr. Bonta wrote in his brief in the case, National Pork Producers Council c. Ross, No. 21-468.

Lawyers from the Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare groups, who have intervened in the case to defend the law, wrote that it was supposed to end “cruel and unsanitary conditions that threaten the health of California consumers” and that “producers may freely sell products outside of California from confined farm animals contrary to Proposition 12 standards” .

A unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco rejected the argument that the law’s out-of-state effects rendered it invalid. “State laws that only regulate conduct within the State, including the sale of products within the State, do not have impermissible extraterritorial effects,” Judge Sandra S. Ikuta wrote for the panel.

The law prohibits the sale of most pigs in California unless the pig from which it comes was born from a sow housed in a 24-square-foot space. But most of the country’s sows are kept in much smaller pens.

“These enclosures,” wrote the groups challenging the California law, “provide approximately 14 square feet of space and – for health, safety, welfare and animal husbandry reasons – do not allow the sow to turn over.”

The size of the California market, the groups added, makes it impossible to ignore state requirements. “California people account for 13% of the nation’s pork consumption, but raise virtually no pigs,” their memoir states. “The huge costs of Prop 12 compliance fall almost exclusively on out-of-state farmers.”

Since California imports nearly all of the pork sold in the state, they said, the law, in practice, is meant to regulate producers in places like Minnesota and Iowa.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Supreme Court to assess California pig treatment law
Supreme Court to assess California pig treatment law
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