Efforts Continue to Block Implementation of California’s Proposition 12

Brian German Agri-Business, Regulation

Proposition 12

An effort to address California’s Proposition 12 that was initiated by two U.S. agricultural groups continues.  Last week the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) filed a joint appeal that challenges the implementation of the proposition. Back in April, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed a legal challenge that was leveed by the two groups. The appeal has been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, with the two groups encouraging the court to find the proposition invalid.

“This law was sold to California voters as a solution to improve animal welfare and food safety, but it has nothing to do with food safety, and many animals will suffer more injury and illness under its arbitrary rules,” AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said in relation to initial legal challenge of Proposition 12. “The best way to protect animal well-being is to allow farmers to make farm-specific and animal-specific decisions on animal care. Prop 12 will deny them that ability while driving up their costs. The hardest hit will be family farms, especially smaller independent farms.”

The ballot initiative was passed by California voters back in 2018 as the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, with nearly 68 percent of voters supporting the measure. Proposition 12 establishes parameters for the production of eggs, veal, and pork. Food products that are not produced under the new requirements are prohibited from being sold in California.  Opponents to the measure have cited the proposition as violating the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Other industry groups have been unsuccessful in their legal opposition to the spacing requirements established in Proposition 12. The North American Meat Institute had also filed legal challenges to the proposition, citing a report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office which showed that the proposition would cost California millions of dollars a year in enforcement and lost tax revenue. Thus far no legal objections to the proposition have been successful.

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Brian German

Brian German

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Multimedia Journalist for AgNet West