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Making Sense of California's Proposition 12

Making Sense of California's Proposition 12

If it's not one thing, it's another.

By Andrew Joseph,; Photo by Kameron Kincade on Unsplash

For the past few years, the American pork industry has had to concern itself with: the Covid-19 pandemic and its corresponding supply chain, labour and health issues; and the ever-present Sword of Damocles hanging over everyone’s head that is African Swine Fever and the prevention of its entrance into North America, while also preparing for its unwanted arrival, nonetheless. And then there is California Proposition 12 - a new State of California law that bans the sale of pork for any hog born to a sow not raised according to the state’s production standards, specifically animal housing doctrine.

Proposition 12 seeks to establish minimum space requirements based on square feet for breeding pigs and would also apply to calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens, and to ban the sale of meat products from these animals when the animals are confined to areas below the minimum square-foot requirements.

Proposition 12 was approved by the state’s voters in November of 2018, and enacted as law on January 1, 2022. Proponents of the law claimed it would make pork production more humane by setting minimum space requirements for breeding pigs, laying hens, and calves raised for veal.

Specifically for pork producers, Proposition 12 applies to any uncooked pork sold in California, regardless of where it was produced and processed in the state or outside its borders - or even anywhere in the world.

As it stands, nearly all pork produced in the US would fail to meet the California standards.

To read the article in its entirety at our 2022 Benchmark swine magazine website, click HERE.

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