Supreme Court Upholds Animal Cruelty Law Against Meat Industry Challenge

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld California’s Proposition 12, a groundbreaking animal cruelty law that sets rigorous confinement standards for farm animals and restricts the sale of products derived from inhumane practices. This ruling delivers a significant blow to the meat industry, which has relentlessly contested the law through multiple lawsuits. Proposition 12, which received overwhelming bipartisan support with over 60% of the vote, mandates minimum space requirements for egg-laying hens, mother pigs, and veal calves, ensuring they are not confined in industry-standard cages that barely accommodate their bodies. The law also stipulates that any eggs, pork, or veal sold in California must meet these space requirements, regardless of the production location.

The Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the dismissals by lower courts and emphasizes the power of voters and their elected representatives to enact policies that reflect societal values and ethical standards. Animal advocacy organizations, including Animal Outlook, played a crucial role in defending Proposition 12, highlighting the ongoing struggle against entrenched industry practices that prioritize profit over animal welfare. Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director at Animal Outlook, noted the significance of the ruling, stating that it represents a clear rejection of the meat industry’s efforts to make cruelty a mandatory aspect of animal agriculture.

Today’s ruling is a monumental affirmation of the public’s right to oppose and dismantle cruel industry practices through democratic means. It underscores that moral and ethical considerations in society are determined by the collective will of the people, not by corporate interests. Proposition 12’s enactment and the broad coalition of supporters, including the Humane Society of the United States and the United Farm Workers, reflect a growing movement towards more humane and ethical treatment of animals in agriculture

In a landmark decision, ⁢the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld California’s Proposition 12, a pivotal animal cruelty law that imposes stringent ‌confinement standards for farm animals and restricts ⁤the sale of products derived from inhumane practices. This ruling marks a significant defeat for the meat industry, which has persistently challenged the law through multiple lawsuits. Proposition 12, which garnered overwhelming‌ bipartisan support ​with over 60% of the⁤ vote, mandates minimum ⁤space⁤ requirements for egg-laying hens, mother‍ pigs, and veal calves, ensuring they are not ⁤confined in the industry-standard ​cages that barely accommodate their bodies. The law also​ stipulates that any eggs, pork, or veal sold in ‌California must meet these⁢ space requirements, regardless of the production location.

The Supreme ‌Court’s decision reaffirms the dismissals by lower‌ courts and underscores the power of voters and their elected representatives to enact⁤ policies that reflect societal values and ethical standards. Animal advocacy organizations, including Animal Outlook, played a crucial role in defending Proposition 12, ⁣highlighting the ongoing struggle against entrenched industry practices that prioritize profit over animal welfare. Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director at Animal Outlook, emphasized the significance of the ruling, stating that it represents a clear rejection ⁢of the meat industry’s efforts to make cruelty a mandatory aspect of animal agriculture.

Today’s ruling is a ‌monumental affirmation of the public’s right to oppose and dismantle cruel industry ⁣practices through democratic means. It serves as a powerful reminder that moral and ethical considerations in⁣ society are determined by the collective will of‍ the ⁢people, not by corporate interests. Proposition 12’s enactment and the broad coalition of supporters, including ⁢the Humane Society of the ‍United States and the United Farm Workers, reflect a growing movement towards more humane and ethical treatment of animals​ in agriculture.

Supreme Court Upholds Animal Cruelty Law Against Meat Industry Challenge July 2024

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Supreme Court Rejects Meat Industry Challenge to Animal Cruelty Law

Ruling Affirms Dismissal of Lawsuit Over California Proposition 12

May 11, 2023, Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a meat industry challenge to California law Proposition 12, which bans extreme confinement in animal agriculture in California, as well as the sale in California of products derived from these practices. The law passed in a bipartisan, landslide victory, with over 60% of the vote. The pork industry has challenged Proposition 12 in four separate lawsuits. Every court to consider each of the cases, at both the trial and appellate level, has ruled against the industry. Today’s Supreme Court ruling is the industry’s latest in that string of losses. Animal Outlook is among a group of animal advocacy organizations that intervened as a defendant in the case to support California in defending Proposition 12.

“No matter how cruel or painful a practice is, the animal agriculture industry has fought against laws to prohibit it–in this case, all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Cheryl Leahy, Executive Director at Animal Outlook.  “When a powerful industry will stop at nothing to make complicity in cruelty mandatory, it’s a clear sign that the cruelty is part and parcel of that industry, and the only way to refuse to be a part of it is to not eat animals altogether.”

Proposition 12 sets minimum space requirements for egg-laying hens, mother pigs, and baby cows raised for veal in California, such that these animals cannot be confined in the industry-standard cages, which are barely bigger than their bodies. Prop 12 also requires that any eggs, pork, or veal sold in the state comply with these space requirements, regardless of where those products were produced. The lawsuit before the Supreme Court challenged the latter aspect of the law, arguing that out-of-state pork producers should be able to sell pig products in California without complying with Prop 12’s space requirements. The case was thrown out by two lower courts, dismissals that were affirmed in today’s Supreme Court ruling.

Today’s Supreme Court opinion vindicates the right of all of us to stand up and refuse to be complicit in cruel industries like the pork industry. The court said “[i]n a functioning democracy, those sorts of policy choices…belong to the people and their elected representatives.” It’s not huge corporations who get to decide it’s morally acceptable to commit cruelty for profit – the power to determine what’s morally allowable in society belongs to us. This is a monumental day for the principle that we all have the power – with our wallets and our political action as citizens –  to dismantle cruelty, and ultimately the animal ag industries that rely upon it to exist.

Prop 12 was enacted directly by voters in a California ballot proposition, in a landslide victory, with nearly 63 percent of the vote. Supporters ranged widely and included the Humane Society of the United States, the United Farm Workers, the National Black Farmers Association, the California Council of Churches, and the Consumer Federation of America. Recent surveys have reported that 80% of voters across party lines nationwide support the protections provided by Prop 12 and would welcome laws providing such protections in their home state.

The case is National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) v. Ross. Animal Outlook has also previously conducted undercover investigations that have documented the intense suffering caused by pork industry practices, including gestation crates–immobilizing smart, social, curious animals in barren metal crates barely wider than their bodies, for months on end. Read more about gestation crates and the pig industry here.

ABOUT ANIMAL OUTLOOK

Animal Outlook is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA. It is strategically challenging animal agribusiness through undercover investigations, legal advocacy, corporate and food system reform, and disseminating information about the many harms of animal agriculture, empowering everyone to choose vegan. https://animaloutlook.org/

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Notice: This content was initially published on AnimalOutlook.org and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Humane Foundation.

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