The Supreme Court will hear arguments this fall regarding California’s Proposition 12—which creates new rules for different products such as swine, veal calves and eggs in California. The rules will apply to products produced outside of California’s borders, and agriculture and livestock groups have concerns regarding what the law means for the future.
“And a lot of folks in animal agriculture, especially in the pork community, are kind of waiting with bated breath to see what the result is,” says Hannah Thompson Weeman, President and CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
“…because it is going to set an extremely significant precedent when it comes to the state level pieces of legislation that impacts not only producers in that state that passed the legislation, but in the case of things like Prop 12, affecting producers across the country. There’s a reason that activist groups try to get these pieces of legislation passed in states with very little of the production in question, it’s a very intentional strategy and it calls a lot of questions when it comes to interstate commerce. And is that fair to producers to be regulated by citizens who live in a completely different state?”
Proposition 12 is mostly about pork, but the concept has an impact on everyone in animal agriculture.
“A lot of us followed the really outlandish ballot initiative that was proposed in Colorado that would have redefined certain production practices as sexual assault of an animal and would have established a minimum lifespan that animals had to live to before they could be processed. And similarly, an Oregon ballot initiative legislation that would have redefined any processing of an animal as cruelty. So, these ballot initiatives are really cross-species, they’re really impactful, and again, I think the outcome of this case is going to set the stage for what we see happening with them long into the future.”
For the groups with agendas that are harmful to the animal agriculture industry, Weeman says the legislation is only one piece of their overall strategy.
“The alliance tracks around 200 different organizations that we have group profiles on who are targeting animal agriculture one way or another. Their intention is not about animal welfare, and it is not about continuous improvement or innovation.”
Weeman says that at the end of the day, if we are using animals for any purpose, including for food, those groups don’t believe there is any way for that to be done ethically and responsibly and they are advocating for animal agriculture and any use of animals to be “completely ended.”
Source: NAFB News Service