Pigs in gestation crates

Supreme Court Upholds California’s Animal Protection Laws



A long-awaited victory for farmed animals.

The exciting decision by the Supreme Court to uphold California’s Proposition 12 marks a long-awaited triumph for animals and the role state governments can play in protecting them from cruelty. This landmark ruling is a significant step toward ending the inhumane confinement of farmed animals in cages and crates. World Animal Protection, along with numerous other organizations, united in support of Prop 12 when it was introduced in 2018. We recognized the urgent need to advocate for the welfare of mother pigs confined in gestation crates. Despite industry resistance, public sentiment has remained overwhelmingly in favor of ending this cruel practice.

The Cruel Reality for Animals in Confinement Farming Systems

The pork industry has relentlessly deployed its substantial resources to impede progress through baseless lawsuits and deceptive narratives. One of the key issues addressed by Prop 12 is the use of conventional gestation crates, which subject mother pigs to unimaginable suffering. These crates restrict their movement so that they are unable to turn around, lie down comfortably, socialize, or engage in natural behaviors. As a result, these intelligent and sentient beings endure profound physical and psychological harm.

Gestation Crates

Pigs held in gestation crates on a factory farm.

These cages are so cruel that California and nine other states have banned farms operating in their states from using them. With Prop 12, California further solidified its protection of animals by also banning the sale of pork in the state if it comes from systems that use gestation crates.

The law requires that all meat sold in California by out-of-state producers meet the same standards required of in-state producers. The Supreme Court’s decision, and the previous decisions by lower courts to uphold the law, sends a powerful message that those seeking change for animals cannot be bullied or misled by the powerful lobby trying to maintain the current exploitative systems.

Continuing the Fight to End Crates and Cages

While the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Prop 12 is undoubtedly a significant victory, our work is far from over. We must remain vigilant and resolute in our mission to eradicate the suffering inflicted upon animals raised in confinement. World Animal Protection will continue to push for policies that protect farmed animals, restrict factory farming, and promote a more plant-based food system at the state and federal levels. You can lend your support by contacting your legislators and urging them to support the Farm System Reform Act, a proposed bill that would help stop the expansion of cruel factory farms.

Together, we can build a future where the well-being of animals is upheld and respected.

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