Court Rejects Meat Institute’s Prop 12 Appeal

Broiler chicks
Broiler chicks

The North American Meat Institute’s challenge to California’s Proposition 12 has been rejected for a second time.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the Meat Institute’s challenge to California’s 2018 ballot initiative that imposes new standards for animal housing. The Court’s Dec. 23 decision confirms an initial decision in October. After the October decision, the Meat Institute appealed for the challenge to be heard by the full panel of judges, but the panel “unanimously voted to deny appellant’s petition for panel rehearing.”

California voters approved the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act with 63% 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 egg-laying hens at least one foot of floor space, and to completely eliminate cages by 2022. Farmers must now give veal calves 43 square feet and sows 24 feet of space.

Challenges by the Meat Institute and others, however, centered around the fact 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 the law will contribute to higher food prices for consumers.

“Prop 12 is unconstitutional and not only hurts consumers with higher prices for pork, veal and eggs, it is costly for the federal government’s programs designed to help those facing hunger, including the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” said the Meat Institute’s President/CEO Julie Anna Potts.

Related stories:

Court Upholds California's Proposition 12


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