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Attorneys general from 26 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision upholding a California law banning the raising or importing pork, veal or eggs if the animals are confined.
The Supreme Court announced on March 28 that it would hear the pork industry’s challenge to California’s Proposition 12, a law restricting confinement practices in animal agriculture. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Oct. 11.
Prop. 12 was approved by 63% of California voters in 2018. The law established minimum space requirements based on square feet for calves raised for veal, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens. It banned the sale of products from those animals if they were “confined in a cruel manner,” defined as in areas below minimum square-feet requirements.
The case, National Pork Producers Council v. Karen Ross, the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, focuses on the regulation of animal products outside of California by prohibiting the in-state sale of products traceable to the animal being confined in a “cruel manner.” The Pork Producers and others argue the law violates the Interstate Commerce Clause and general constitutional restrictions against “extraterritorial regulation.”
The brief filed by the attorneys general states California consumes 13% of the nation’s pork and imports 99.87% of pork consumed. The attorneys general argue the “entire impact of Proposition 12 will be visited on out-of-state producers that, though they have no vote in California, must remodel their farms (or reduce their herds) to comply with the law.”
“Under no circumstances should the state of California be allowed to dictate to Missouri farmers and ranchers how they can raise and confine breeding pigs, egg-laying hens, and veal calves,” Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement. “Further, California is attempting to impose their will on Missouri farmers and […]
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