Court Rejects Prop 12 Challenge in California

The North American Meat Institute’s challenge to California’s Prop 12 is unsuccessful once again. The U.S. Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit rejected the institute’s challenge to the California 2018 ballot initiative that imposes new standards for animal housing. The court decision confirms an initial judgment in October.

California voters approved the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act with 63 percent of the vote. The law creates minimum requirements to provide more space for veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens. By 2020, the law requires farmers to give hens at least one foot of floor space and says farmers have to eliminate cages by 2022. Farmers must now give veal calves at least 43 square feet, and sows get 24 feet of room.

Court challenges by the Meat Institute and other groups have centered around the fact that the law applies to out-of-state producers of meat and eggs who want to sell products in California. Both the federal Department of Justice and 20 states joined the Meat Institute’s challenge, arguing that the law will contribute to higher food prices for consumers.