Proposition 12 Review Denied by Supreme Court

Brian German Agri-Business, Industry

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced its decision to deny a petition to review California’s Proposition 12. Several industry groups have undergone various efforts to stop Prop 12 from being implemented. Nearly two dozen states had been supportive of the petition for review filed by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI). Prop 12 was initially passed by California voters back in 2018. The initiative establishes animal confinement standards for products sold in the state of California.

Proposition 12

“We are disappointed our petition for cert was denied. We will be considering other options to block Proposition 12 which will cost both producers and consumers millions of dollars according to economists and the state of California’s own analysis,” NAMI spokesperson Sarah Little said in a statement.

No explanation was offered by the court as to why the review petition was denied. Other legal battles pertaining to the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act known as Prop 12 will continue moving forward. The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) have filed a lawsuit against the initiative. Oral arguments in the case began back in April in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The two groups are asking for the law to be struck as being unconstitutional. A ruling on the case is expected in the coming weeks.

Proposition 12 dictates animal housing standards for breeding pigs, veal calves, and egg-laying hens. The provisions set forth in the initiative are to become effective on January 1, 2022. Opponents of Prop 12 have pointed out the increased costs that consumers will incur as a result of the initiative.  NPPC has been especially vocal about the negative impact that Proposition 12 will have on the industry as well as consumers. California represents 15 percent of the domestic market for pork, requiring approximately 700,000 sows to meet demand.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West