(WASHINGTON D.C.)- On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that allows California’s controversial Proposition 12 law to stand. The law, which prohibits the sale of pork in the state that is not produced via California’s production standards, was upheld in a 5-4 ruling by the court.
Various farm groups, including the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), have shared their reaction and disappointment with the ruling. NPPC president and Missouri pork producer Scott Hays says “We are very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s opinion. Allowing state overreach will increase prices for consumers and drive small farms out of business, leading to more consolidation. We are still evaluating the Court’s full opinion to understand all the implications. NPPC will continue to fight for our nation’s pork farmers and American families against misguided regulations.”
Many livestock groups have argued that if Prop 12 was allowed to stand, it could create significant challenges for interstate commerce and could cause other states to set separate production standards and requirements.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on California’s Proposition 12 saying; “Today’s Supreme Court decision on California’s Proposition 12 sets a dangerous precedent for animal rights extremist groups to target other states with similar ballot initiatives. The Humane Society of the United States is a prime example of a group that focuses efforts on states that will be minimally impacted by the legislation, knowing they will receive less resistance within the state while setting a precedent. In California, specifically, farmers in the state raise less than 1% of pigs in the U.S. yet consume 13% of the pork. This means that a significant majority of California’s pork is produced in other states, who will now be expected to comply with regulations passed by voters outside of their own state.
Other groups such as Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy have come out in support of the ruling by the Supreme Court.
Wayne Pacelle, who helped launch Prop 12 in 2017, and is now president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy said, “Today’s landmark ruling affirms the right of states to institute policies to promote anti-cruelty and food safety standards. The pork industry has for decades blocked any rules at the federal level to promote the humane treatment of farm animals and this was their attempt to gut state rules, too. It is a loss for hog factory farmers and a win for the vast majority of American who want to know that animals raised for food were not immobilized and otherwise tormented in production.”
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.