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California in Confinement Crosshairs

It’s a regulatory tug-of-war.

Animal welfare advocates have sued the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for not having final Proposition 12 rules in place for its January 1, 2022 effective date.

On the flip side, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has requested the regulation’s effective date be delayed until at least two years after the regulations are finalized and widely shared.

Let’s just say California is feelin’ the heat from all sides these days.

Soundbite: “CDFA’s proposed regulations conflict with the legislation implementing Proposition 12 by failing to account for the full range of harmful impacts of industrialized systems of animal confinement that have long dominated U.S. meat and egg production,” said the group suing CDFA.

Zoom out: Prop. 12 will prohibit the sale of any pork from hogs born to sows raised in housing that doesn’t comply with California’s 24-foot cubic space requirement. NPPC has commented frequently on proposed regulations, noting the anticipated burden across the pork supply chain, including a 9.2% cost increase at the farm level.

Nearly all pork produced in the U.S. fails to meet Prop. 12 standards. California consumes 13% of the nation’s pork.

Where this goes: The US Supreme Court is considering hearing a case against Prop. 12 put forth by NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation. Between that decision and January 1 quickly approaching, news on Prop. 12 won’t be boar-ing.