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The King Amendment

A disaster that didn't happen


Feb. 4, 2014: The House and Senate passed the Farm Bill without the dangerous King Amendment. The Farm Bill also contains stronger federal penalties on animal fighting. Thank you for helping achieve this remarkable win for animals.

The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.

The House version of this year's Farm Bill contains a provision from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) that could negate most state and local laws on the production or manufacture of agricultural products. The King Amendment is a radical federal overreach that aims to block state laws protecting animals. It could also overturn many state laws covering child labor, dangerous pFesticides, labels on farm-raised fish, and more. Please act now.

What is the King Amendment?

The King amendment proposes to undermine state laws related to public health, safety, or welfare. Read our King Amendment fact sheet [PDF] for details.

  • Under the King Amendment, dogs and puppies suffering in puppy mills could lose their protection in many states. Kathy Milani/The HSUS

  • Laws like California’s Proposition 2, which will phase out cruel confinement for farm animals, could be reversed. Compassion Over Killing

  • The King Amendment could undo laws against horse slaughter in a number of states. Jennifer Kunz/The HSUS

The King Amendment endangers state animal welfare laws

The King amendment could undo animal welfare laws in many states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, the Northern Mariana Island, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Rhode Island. Our fact sheet [PDF] provides specifics on the laws that could change.

The King Amendment could ax state laws on health and safety

Beside animal welfare laws, the King amendment could nullify a wide range of state and local measures regarding food safety, labeling, environmental requirements, labor standards, and other important issues. For more examples, check our fact sheet [PDF] and see the diversity of voices speaking out against the King Amendment [PDF].

Please urge your legislators to pass the Farm Bill now »

Legislators and groups oppose the King Amendment

Among many others, opposition to the King Amendment includes:
Nearly 90 nonprofits and citizens' groups [PDF]
National Conference of State Legislatures [PDF]
County Executives of America [PDF]
National Fraternal Order of Police [PDF]
National Sheriffs' Association
Members of the U.S. Senate [PDF]
House Republicans [PDF]
House Democrats [PDF]
University professors of law [PDF]

Leading media outlets condemn the King Amendment


USA Today editorial: Chicken cage compromise is not radical
Washington Post editorial: An amendment that hurts chickens—and Americans
Washington Post commentary: Steve King's inhumane farm bill measure 
Washington Times article: The King amendment to the Farm Bill threatens state's rights
New York Times op-ed: Can we see our hypocrisy to animals?
Time magazine article: King Farm Bill Amendment angers animal advocates
Baltimore Sun commentary: Don't let Congress trample Maryland's rights
Cleveland Plain Dealer op-ed by the Consumer Federation of America: The King amendment to the farm bill could erase state laws protecting food safety
Des Moines Register editorial: So, King likes federal regulation of states?
Denver Post editorial: Humane reforms at risk in farm bill

Television and video

The Colbert Report: Steve King on chicken cages
Wayne Pacelle: Stop the King Amendment!

Many go on the record against the King Amendment

See the full list of those who have publicly stated opposition to the King Amendment [PDF].


Stop the King Amendment now

Urge your legislators to pass the Farm Bill without this dangerous amendment »