California: Meat Industry Attempts to Block Animal Welfare Law, Judge Strikes Them Down

The meat industry’s attempt to prevent the implementation of an animal welfare law through a preliminary injunction has been struck down by a California judge.

Judge Christina A. Snyder (Central District of California) has ruled against the North American Meat Institute’s (NAMI) request for a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of Proposition 12, which expands the minimum space requirements for animals that are raised for consumption.

NAMI is in the process of suing the state of California in an attempt to overturn Prop 12, and they sought to have an injunction placed on the measure becoming law while the legal case moves forward. However, Judge Snyder ruled against this, stating that Prop 12 can go into effect as written.

Proposition 12 states that by 2020, when breeding mother pigs, calves, and egg-laying chickens they have to be given additional space, while all chickens must be “cage-free” by 2022. Giving the new law nation-wide implications, it states that all animal products raised outside of California that do not comply with these requirements are entirely prohibited from sale in the state.

Proposition 12 is supported by a number of animal-rights organizations, including Compassion Over Killing (COK), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Mercy For Animals, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Equality, The Humane League, Farm Sanctuary, and Compassion in World Farming USA.

Judge Snyder also ruled to allow a large coalition of various nonprofit animal rights groups led by the Humane Society of the United States to intervene in NAMI’s lawsuit as defendants alongside the state of California.

“Proposition 12 will quite literally impact the lives of millions of animals by reducing the suffering inherent to these inhumane confinement practices,” said Will Lowrey, an attorney for Compassion Over Killing which is one of the animal rights group taking part in the lawsuit. “Along with our coalition partners, COK is proud to represent the interests of animals and grateful for [these] rulings.”

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