Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling that upholds a law setting higher animal welfare standards for how pork and other foods are sold in California.
Proposition 12 bans the sale of pork, veal and eggs that fail to meet certain minimum space requirements. It prohibits the sale of pork raised in gestation crates, and requires pigs to have enough space to turn around, lie down, stand up, and extend their limbs.
Sherri Dugger, executive director of Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, said:
“We are proud to have organized a brief to SCOTUS in this case, uplifting the voices of small, independent farmers and ranchers nationwide who support California’s Prop 12.It’s clear that hearing directly from U.S. farmers—who are ready to meet the demand for more humanely raised pork—made a huge difference in this case. We’ll continue to ensure those at the highest level of power understand that Big Ag front groups do not speak for farmers nor rural communities.”
Proposition 12, a ballot measure passed in 2018 by California voters, was challenged by the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation, who feared the law would disrupt the market control of the multinational meatpackers they represent.
In August, SRAP and 17 other organizations filed an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court highlighting the connection between growing consolidation and anticompetitive behavior rampant in the food system.
SRAP and its partners believe the lack of healthy competition in the pork industry has led to lower prices paid to livestock producers, higher prices charged to customers, and has eliminated customer choice.
Prop 12 recognizes that the market for sustainably raised pork is growing, and fosters healthy competition and economic opportunities for small, independent farmers.
For more than 20 years, SRAP has served as a mobilizing force to help communities protect themselves from the damages caused by industrial livestock operations and to advocate for a food system built on regenerative practices, justice, democracy, and resilience. Learn more at sraproject.org.