California’s Proposition 12 Threatens to Disrupt U.S. Pork Sector

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Farmscape for April 20, 2021

Pat McGonegle 9:03 Listen

The CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers Association warns California’s Proposition 12 has the potential to seriously disrupt the marketing of pork throughout the United States. California’s Proposition 12, a ballot initiative passed in 2018 and due to come into effect January 1st, raises the minimum space requirements for veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens and bans the sale of products in that state from animals from farms that don’t meet the new standards. Pat McGonegle, the Chief Executive Officer of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, told those on hand last week for Manitoba Pork’s 2021 Annual General Meeting, the new law will raise the minimum space requirement for breeding sows above anything in place on Iowa pig farms today.

Clip-Pat McGonegle-Iowa Pork Producers Association:
Pigs are required to have 24 square feet. That goes into effect January 1 of 2022 and the National Pork Producers Council and others are taking legal action against it. It certainly is a key issue that I hear from producers. I don’t know what the debate is nationwide but we have a million sows here in Iowa and we figure none of those sows are compliant to Prop 12 that becomes effective January 1 of 2022 so we are hopeful the legal process will be successful. The fact of  the matter is we don’t even have the rules from California yet on what we’re going to have to do and those of you in pork production or in the business understand. those sows are already bred.

McGonegle says, regardless of where products originate, they will have to comply with the new law to be sold in California so this is an issue that the entire U.S. pork sector will need to deal with.

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