Veal producers are complaining that a new California humane animal treatment law is interfering with their ability to operate.
Proposition 12, passed by California voters last year by more than 20 percentage points, specifies that animals raised for food must have a minimum amount of space available to them. For veal calves, that minimum is 43 square feet.
The American Veal Association has issued a statement decrying the new requirement, saying that it will cut the number of calves they can raise in a given facility by two-thirds.
“Essentially U.S. farmers will need to raise about one-third the quantity of calves (about 66) in a barn that was designed, built and financed to hold 200 calves,” the statement says.
The association says that its members generally follow European Union guidelines on space requirements for veal calves, which range from 16.1 to 18.3 square feet.