The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund released the following statements in response to the introduction of the “Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression” (EATS) Act. The EATS Act was modeled after the notorious “King amendment” which former Rep. Steve King (R-IA) tried unsuccessfully to include in the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills to block states from passing laws related to the sale of products within their own borders. His gambit generated overwhelming bipartisan opposition.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said: “The EATS Act presents a shocking threat to animals, consumers, workers, the environment and states’ rights. Designed to wipe out state laws that ban the cruel immobilizing confinement of egg-laying hens, mother pigs and baby veal calves, it defies the common values consumers expect the food industry to uphold.
The pork industry is pushing for this destructive bill despite the fact that many food producers have signaled their willingness and ability to move away from immobilizing pig crates, including Hormel, Perdue’s Niman Ranch brand and Tyson.”
Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund said, “It’s not California that’s trying to foist its standards on the rest of the country. It’s the pork industry’s trade association that’s trying to force every state to accept the terms of any other state that chooses not to ensure humane treatment, food safety, environmental rules, child labor protection or other standards. It’s a race-to-the-bottom approach that would destroy the federalism on which our nation was founded and the long-standing power of states to regulate the sale of products within their own borders.
If passed, the EATS Act could also destroy hundreds of other protections against terrible cruelties—like abuse of dogs in puppy mills, killing of animals for the wildlife trade and painful procedures used on animals for cosmetic testing. State laws on a vast range of additional agricultural issues are also at risk, including pesticide application on fields, arsenic in food, protection against lead poisoning, chemicals in baby food, pollution standards for spraying sewage on crops, flammability standards for cigarettes and child labor.”