Proposition 12 Still Scheduled for 2022 Implementation, For Now

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Industry

proposition 12

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) has lost its appeal against Proposition 12 after a Ninth Circuit panel recently upheld a district court’s initial ruling. Prop 12, or the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, establishes housing requirements for animals producing egg and meat products. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) led the campaign for Proposition 12 back in 2018. The ballot measure was passed with 63 percent of the vote.

“We’re pleased that the judicial system has again affirmed that each state has the right to ban the sale of products within its borders produced through cruel factory farming methods,” said Rebecca Cary, senior staff attorney at HSUS. “Rather than continuing to squander their members’ money on losing frivolous lawsuits, the meat industry trade groups should instead invest in improving animal welfare and complying with animal cruelty laws. The Humane Society and our allies will keep fighting in courts, legislatures and corporate boardrooms to stop the horrific practice of locking farm animals in cages so small and cramped they barely move.”

The three-judge panel declared that “Proposition 12 does not impact an industry that is inherently national or requires a uniform system of regulation” in its three-page ruling. The case initially began back in 2019 with NAMI requesting a preliminary injunction against Prop 12. US District Court Judge Christina Snyder denied the request. The denial of the request has now officially been upheld. NAMI expressed disappointment in the ruling and said it will be reviewing any options available for recourse.


NAMI was not the only industry group to file an action against the implementation of Prop 12. The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) are also challenging the measure in court.  The suit that was filed was dismissed in April, but an appeal has been filed in that case as well. The challenge from NPCC and AFBF differs from the one launched by NAMI. The two groups are asserting that Proposition 12 is a violation of the Commerce Clause in unconstitutionally burdening interstate commerce. That appeal was recently filed in September and a ruling for the case is still pending.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West