Pork industry takes fight over California law to U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday in an industry challenge to the constitutionality of a California animal welfare law in a case that could undermine the power of states to regulate a range of issues within their own borders.

The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation are appealing a lower court’s decision to throw out their lawsuit seeking to invalidate a 2018 ballot initiative passed by voters barring sales in California of pork, veal and eggs from animals whose confinement failed to meet minimum space requirements.

The pork industry has defended the size of the cages used at pig farms as humane and necessary for animal safety. Animal rights groups have said some pork producers confine mother pigs in cages so small the animals cannot turn around for most of their lives.

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