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U.S. Supreme Court to hear hog production standards case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall  commented on the U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear the case against California’s Proposition 12 filed by AFBF and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the pork was raised on farms outside of California.

“AFBF is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to consider the constitutionality of California’s law imposing arbitrary requirements on farmers well outside its borders.   We share California’s goal of ensuring animals are well cared for, but Prop 12 fails to advance that goal.”

He continued, “We look forward to presenting the facts to the Court, including how Prop 12 hamstrings farmers’ efforts to provide a safe environment for their animals, while harming small family farms and raising pork prices across the country. One state’s misguided law should not dictate farming practices for an entire nation”

NPPC has fought against the ballot initiative since it was approved in November 2018, arguing at the U.S. district and appellate court levels that Prop. 12 violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which grants Congress the power to regulate trade among the states and limits the ability of states to regulate commerce outside their borders.

In addition, 20 states, including Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a petition filed by the North American Meat Institute that challenged the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12

The law’s effective date was delayed until July, according to an order issued in January by a California judge.

AFBF and NPPC noted Prop 12 has far-reaching consequences and could potentially “drive smaller hog farmers out of business and undermine the overall global competitiveness of the U.S. pork industry.”

“We are extremely pleased that the Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Proposition 12, in which California seeks to impose regulations targeting farming practices outside its borders that would stifle interstate and international commerce,” NPPC President Terry Wolters said

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