We now know for certain that the Farm Bill to be considered by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee contains language that seeks to undo more than a dozen state laws on humane treatment of farm animals including California’s Proposition 12, widely considered the nation’s strongest law on farm animal welfare. The groundbreaking ballot initiative was voted into law by a wide margin, with more than 7.5 million voters supporting it, and was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court after the pork industry lobby filed legal challenges.

The provision in the proposed Farm Bill—a five-year legislative roadmap for how food is produced across the country—could not only undo Proposition 12, but also threatens to abolish other state-level standards for farm animal welfare by congressional fiat. This puts us in the animal protection fight of a generation. 

This is a fight with enormous implications for countless billions of animals raised for food, now and in the future. It is a fight of consequence for millions of Americans who have signaled time and again their support for animal welfare standards and the associated public health benefits at the state level. And it is a fight in which we’re going to need your help and your action.