Animal-Rights Laws Are Coming Back To Bite California and Massachusetts Voters

These two laws, which were passed by the state legislatures this weekend, are already affecting consumers, farmers and restaurateurs as well.

California Proposition 12The 2018 state ballot measure, adopted by more than two thirds of voters nationwide, now requires large livestock enclosures so that chickens or pigs can lie down and turn around. Wings. The law—which, as Vox Detailed explanation in August, expanded on earlier California animal-rights laws targeting livestock enclosures—includes fines and possible jail time for violators. 

Particularly pork producers fear the new rules. This is at least partly because the state’s department of agriculture continues to develop them, even though the law has been implemented. Those same pork producers have joined with other businesses hurt by the law—including grocers and restaurateurs—in an effort to overturn or delay it, It New York Times reported last month.

One of the lawsuits was filed. SeveralA petition was filed to repeal the California law. It cites a “disconnect” between the California bill that voters approved three years ago, and how the state has been carrying it out.[, which]All affected industries will experience compliance disruptions. This includes the supply chain for pork, where it claims there could be an abrupt end to sales. Times report details.

You can find the following: TimesAlso, Californians love to eat a lot of pork—around one in every seven pounds of all pork consumed by Americans every year—but raise relatively few hogs. This law in California should theoretically only affect a few farmers. However, this is not true.

“Proposition 12 covers all products covered by the state regardless of their origin. Animals raised in farmsWithin or California, other than CaliforniaA newly-posted state is titled “,” FAQDetails about Prop 12. (emphasis my). “Proposition 12 requires that a breeding porcine kept in California must comply with its requirements if she is to produce covered pork products for California consumers.

Prop 12 and other Californian food laws are terrible. I explain this in a 2010 blog. Chapman University Law Review article, The “California Effect” & the Future of American Food: How California’s Growing Crackdown on Food & Agriculture Harms the State & the Nation. Because laws in California have an impact on all Americans living in California in a way that laws in other states don’t. The impact of California’s laws is a function of the state’s massive population and political and economic clout on the one hand and the fact many of these laws—including Prop 12 and California’s foie gras ban—seek to regulate commerce in other states and countries. This is unconstitutional. Worse still, these lousy and unconstitutional California laws often inspire equally nefarious laws in other states—the “California effect” my article discusses. This article was not yet published. CiteAt least one suit challenging Prop 12.

This brings us to Massachusetts. In 2016, Massachusetts voters decided in response to California’s animal-rights restrictions that predated Prop 12, to approve a ballot measure regarding livestock enclosures. Only lawmakers Finally realizedThe law could, um, threaten Massachusetts’s food industry during an era of high food prices. They were therefore forced to modify it last week, just days before it was due to go into effect.

The state cannot sell eggs from hens with less than 1.5 feet of surface area without legislative action. Boston Globe reportedLast week. Industry leaders say it is a common warning that can be used to destroy the product. Massachusetts receives as much as 90 percent of eggs on the current market Will disappear from shelvesThey said that the Legislature must change the January standard.

May voters (or lawmakers) in any one state—whether Massachusetts, California, Iowa, or Florida—dictate how farmers in other states raise livestock? No. No.Better yet, is the question: Can California and Massachusetts electors be saved by the U.S. Constitution? This could have a significant impact on the nation’s food economy.