California – On May 11, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold California’s Proposition 12, which offers protection to farm animals.
HSUS emerged victorious after months of unwavering dedication and tireless efforts to uphold the proposition, despite backlash from producers who sought to have it overturned. The decision not only upholds the nation’s strongest farm animal protection law but also unanimously dismisses the primary constitutional claim made by the pork industry. The historic outcome achieved is a testament to the hard work, perseverance, and passion exhibited by HSUS teams and supporters.
Since the successful passage of Proposition 12 in 2018, HSUS has been steadfastly defending it against efforts by certain meat producers who spent millions in their efforts to overturn it. The meat and egg industries of today confine many animals in cramped cages, depriving them of basic movement. Mother pigs endure confinement in “gestation crates” or “gestation stalls,” which are metal cages barely larger than their bodies. Similarly, veal calves are frequently restrained in crates that deny them the space to turn around. Most hens suffer in battery cages so restrictive that they cannot even stretch their wings.
Proposition 12 mandates that mother pigs, hens used for eggs, and veal calves be provided with enough space to stand up, turn around, and extend their limbs. Furthermore, the law prohibits the sale of pork, eggs, and veal produced through extreme confinement within the state. Approved by a significant majority of Californian voters, with 63 percent voting in favor, Proposition 12 has already liberated millions of animals from cages as producers have adjusted their practices to comply with the law.
Today’s ruling by the highest court in the land marks the end of the line in terms of opponents’ judicial efforts in this case.