Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays is featuring comments from the Chief Legal Strategist for the National Pork Producers Council, Michael Formica, about California’s Proposition 12 and its relation to all of the livestock industry.
Proposition 12 aims to require veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens to be housed in systems that comply with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design, and specified minimum floor space. These regulations also prohibit a farm owner or operator from knowingly confining these specific animals in a cruel manner, as well as prohibits a business owner or operator from knowingly engaging in the sale of shell eggs, liquid eggs, whole pork meat or whole veal meat from animals housed in a cruel manner.
“We don’t know when the court is going to rule, but hopefully any day,” Formica said. “It could be next week. They are running really far behind.”
If the court makes a decision in favor of California’s Proposition 12, Formica said it is feared the decision will result in massive consolidation within the industry.
“Producers are suffering right now,” Formica said. “There is a terrible farm economy going on for pork producers. They are hurting. The last thing they need is for a law like this that has no basis in science and no basis in animal husbandry.”
Ironically, Formica said this law will reduce the welfare of the animals involved.
“The goal of this law is to take food out of (from) the most vulnerable children in California,” Formica said.
Over 5 million people live under the poverty line in California, Formica said, which is more than the population of most states. Attempting to remove a low-cost and nutritious source of protein, Formica said, is only going to intensify poverty in the state.
“The odds of us losing are pretty low,” Formica said.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.