California Judge Strikes Down Pork Supply Law

Written by Andrew Morris

A California Judge has delayed a law which would enforce new farm animal laws for farmers across the state.

The law originally passed in 2018, but due to multiple lawsuits from farmers regarding cost and installation on short notice, has been delayed several times. 

Similar regulations have passed since then however, as chicken and veal farms are now required to meet minimum pen size regulations for each animal, with strict fines for each breach.

The pigs were required to have 24 square feet of space each until Sacramento County Superior Court Judge James Arguelles ruled Monday restaurants would not be restricted from buying pork from less humane farms. The law would have created the most strict living space standards for breeding pigs in the entire nation. Prop 12 was approved by voters by a 2-to-1 ratio in November 2018. 

The California Grocers Association — one of many companies that has sued previously — stated they were pleased with the decision. In a statement, the California Grocers Association said, “The court’s decision to ensure regulations are finalized before the enforcement provisions of Proposition 12 take effect was the correct one”. 

Alternatively, The California Department of Food and Agriculture commented in a response Tuesday that the district attorney’s office would discuss the authenticity of the judge’s proclamation.

“It should be noted that the judge’s ruling is a narrow one that applies only to retailers, including grocers, and not to pork producers providing pork products to California,” the department said.

It shot back saying pork farmers are still required to meet the 24 square foot requirement regardless of restaurant policies, but many associations threaten to sue again if the regulations proceed. 

In addition to the California Grocers Association, the California Restaurant Association, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, California Retailers Association and Kruse & Sons, have all previously sued for such regulations, and many threaten to do so again if the need arises.

Photo Cred: Dan Brouillette/Bloomberg