Judge Delays California’s Humane-Pork Law

Jan. 27, 2022
A California judge has delayed enforcement of a state law that would mandate humane standards for hogs if their meat is to be sold in the state.

A California judge has delayed enforcement of a state law that would mandate humane standards for hogs if their meat is to be sold in the state.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge James Arguelles ruled Jan. 24 that Proposition 12, passed by voters in 2018, can’t be enforced until the state agriculture department promulgates final regulations associated with the law. It had been due to go into effect Jan. 1.

Arguelles ruled in a lawsuit filed by the California Grocers Association and other groups. Challenges by pork processors had already been rebuffed by the courts.

Proposition 12 mandates that breeding sows must have a minimum of 24 sq. ft. of space, which is about 10 more than the industry standard. It applies to all pork sold in California, no matter where it originates. Pork processors have been warning that it could lead to a shortage of bacon and other products.

Arguelles’ ruling, which applies only to retailers and restaurants, states that California cannot enforce Proposition 12 until six months after regulations around the law are finalized.

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