On Wednesday, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation jointly filed an appeal, challenging California's Proposition 12, which imposes arbitrary animal housing standards that reach outside of California's borders to farms across the United States. By attempting to regulate businesses outside of its borders, the organizations say California's Proposition 12 violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The appeals challenge, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, asks the court to strike Proposition 12 as invalid. NPPC and Farm Bureau say it is unconstitutional and seeks to allow a single state without any commercial hog production to regulate how farmers across the country operate, imposing prohibitive costs with no benefits.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Proposition 12 prohibits the sale of pork not produced according to California's highly prescriptive production standards. The proposition applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, whether raised there or outside its borders. Currently, less than 1% of U.S. pork production meets Proposition 12's requirements. NPPC says to comply with Proposition 12, U.S. hog farmers would need to start making investment decisions today to be ready by the implementation date.
On April 27, a federal judge dismissed a legal challenge filed by NPPC and Farm Bureau.