California’s New Pig Law Problematic For Minnesota Pork Producers
It was in 2018 that California voters by a large margin approved an animal welfare proposition requiring more space for pigs, chickens and veal calves on farms. The law will take affect and be enforced the beginning of next year. I wonder if California voters knew what the result of this proposition would be? Was it phrased on the ballot are you in favor of animals having more space in a barn? It would be understandable to say yes that sounds like a good idea not knowing what the end result would be.
Well, the end result will be very little pork will be available in California next year and what is will be very expensive. Pork barns today are designed with animal comfort a top priority. Research has been done to find out how much space a pig needs to be the most productive. That is the space and production practices that are designed into the buildings. More space than needed means increased costs and no increase in productivity.
So, enforcing a law requiring more space per pig means buildings and equipment must be redesigned and changed at considerable cost for pork producers. My first thought was the pork industry will just move out of California. Dave Preisler CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers told me at Farmfest there are only 5,000 sows in California. In comparison Minnesota has 550,000 sows so maybe Minnesota and Iowa can just produce the pork California needs? WRONG!
We already produce most of the pork California consumes. However, the proposition passed by California voters require all pork produced in another state and imported into California needs to follow the same space standards! Is this legal? I thought we had Federal Interstate Commerce laws that would prevent one state from acting like an individual Country? Is it legal for one state to force their views on other states?
It seems to me this is a move by extreme animal rights groups to make meat so expensive ordinary Americans cannot afford it? Click play in the player above and listen to Dave Preisler CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers discuss the California proposition and how pigs are taken care of today!