Since World Animal Protection, a coalition of advocacy groups, and 63% of Californians worked to pass Proposition 12 (Prop 12) in 2018—guaranteeing the strongest protections for mother pigs, laying hens, and calves of any state—the meat industry has continued to file lawsuits attempting to repeal the law. Last week, the latest suit was resoundingly rejected by a three-judge panel.
This ruling makes it clear that it’s time for the industry to stop burying its head in the sand and start making progress toward 100% cage-free systems.
The 9th Circuit Court’s ruling affirms the validity of this historic law, which prohibits cage and crate confinement of hens, pigs, and calves and bans the sale of products statewide that utilize these cruel systems. The decision upholds a ruling from 2019 in which a judge rejected a lawsuit filed by the North American Meat Institute on behalf of its members to overturn the law.
A separate lawsuit opposing Prop 12 filed by the National Pork Producers Council was similarly decided in favor of preserving the law.
The food industry has long recognized the importance of ending the cruel confinement of animals in their supply chains; setting clear public goals to source only cage-free eggs and crate-free pork, but producers have been slow to comply. Landmark legislation such as Prop 12 adds a significant push in finally eliminating these cruel systems and improving the lives of millions of animals.