Supreme Court dismisses meat industry’s challenge to landmark farm animal lawA cruelty-free world


By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

California’s historic farm animal protection law, Proposition 12, prohibits the sale of products from farm animals in extreme containment, such as pigs in gestation cages. HSUS

Today the The United States Supreme Court refused to accept the North American Meat Institute’s appeal of its lawsuit challenging Proposition 12, widely regarded as the strictest law in the world for the protection of farm animals.

Proposition 12 prohibits the extreme containment of laying hens, mother pigs and baby calves used in the veal industry. The law also prohibits the sale in California of eggs, pork, and veal from facilities that confine animals in cruel cages. The Humane Society of the United States led the campaign to pass Proposition 12, which was approved by California voters in an overwhelming vote in 2018.

The Supreme Court’s outright rejection of the North American Meat Institute’s appeal of its lower court losses is consistent with a long line of previous court decisions, and it strengthens the long-standing position of the HSUS and the Humane Society Legislative Fund that states have the right to pass laws protecting animals and public health and safety. This decision is of critical importance to all of our sales bans enacted to protect animals and consumers, from banning the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores to banning the sale of cosmetics. tested on animals.

Along with a group of allied organizations, the HSUS intervened in the lawsuit on the State of California side to defend Proposition 12. The HSUS was represented in this case by attorneys for Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila and Molo Lamken, as well as attorneys from the Animal Welfare Law Department of the HSUS.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund also works with congressional allies to encourage the Biden administration to support and defend the right of California and other states to set humane standards to protect farm animals, wildlife, and wildlife. other animals. Last month, Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., And Cory Booker, DN.J., led a letter signed by 27 lawmakers urging Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the Attorney General Merrick Garland to withdraw their briefs. filed by the Trump administration in support of industry challenges against California law. Representatives Joe Neguse, D-Colo., And Jason Crow, D-Colo., Have made a similar appeal, and Representative Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Is mobilizing additional letter from lawmakers representing other states with sales without cage. laws.

Now the case will return to the lower court, where we will continue the fight. But we hope that instead of pursuing frivolous lawsuits and wasting money, the meat industry will focus on eliminating cruel caging of animals.

The extreme containment of farm animals that Proposition 12 outlaws in California produces animal cruelty and suffering unparalleled in any industry. Laying hens, pigs and baby calves are confined in cages so small they can barely move. These sensitive and curious animals are practically immobilized in unsanitary conditions for most of their lives. Extreme containment of farm animals also increases public health risks and has been listed as one of the main drivers of the emergence of zoonotic diseases by many scientists and even a United Nations report.

Our public policy work and corporate social responsibility campaigns have transformed the farm animal welfare landscape in recent years. Along with laws defended by the HSUS against the extreme confinement of farm animals and the sale of cruel products, more than 200 of the largest food companies have decided to adopt cage-free policies and convert to cage-free systems.

Today’s news clearly shows that the future is cage-free.

Sara Amundson is President of the Legislative Fund of The Humane Society.


Farm animals, public policy (legal / legislative)

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