May 11, 2023, stands out as historic for animal protection: On that day, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision upholding California’s Proposition 12, the nation’s strongest farm animal protection law, a move that rejected the pork industry’s challenge to the law.
We led the campaign for the passage of Proposition 12, which requires that the state’s pregnant pigs, egg-laying hens and calves raised for veal be given at least enough space to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs, and access to a minimum amount of usable floor space. The law, which was approved by voters in California with 63% voting in favor, also prohibits the sale in California of pork, eggs and veal produced via extreme confinement. The victory in the Supreme Court came after months of preparation on the part of our Animal Protection Law department, and we are immensely proud of this work.
Right now, we’re waging a full-scale battle against the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, a reckless bill in the U.S. Congress that seeks to undermine Proposition 12 and other animal welfare laws like it. We’ve successfully mobilized significant bipartisan opposition in Congress, and rallied a diverse set of more than 3,000 entities, including organizations spanning a broad range of concerns, legislators, veterinarians, legal scholars and more than 2,000 farms across the country, to publicly join the fight.
And while California’s final deadline for fully enforcing Proposition 12 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, some in the pork industry continue to seek opportunities for enacting EATS or a related attack. We will be vigilant in defending Proposition 12 and other state and local animal welfare laws.