On May 11, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld California’s Prop. 12.
Proposition 12, “Animal Confinement Initiative”, passed in 2018. The law requires farms to comply with set spatial standards for calves, chicken, and breeding pigs, some of the most confined animals in factory farming. Traditionally, chickens are kept in wire “battery cages,” calves raised for veal are confined to solitary standing-room pens, and mother sows are relegated to “gestation crates” where they spend most of their lives.
The initiative requires that these animals are able to turn around and extend their limbs. Products that don’t comply with these directives are prohibited in California, including products from out-of-state farms.
As of July 1, 2023, all pork products sold in California must be compliant with the regulations of Prop. 12.
On June 21, 2023, the Sacramento Superior Court issued a modification of its enforcement of Proposition 12 with respect to whole pork meat. The court’s new order provides that the previously issued injunction against enforcement expires as scheduled on July 1, 2023, except with respect to certain noncompliant whole pork meat that is already in the stream of commerce, which may be sold through December 31, 2023.