U..S. Pork Producers Await U.S. Supreme Court Proposition 12 Ruling

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Farmscape for April 22, 2022

Iowa Minnesota Presentation 46:15 Listen

The President of the Iowa Pork Producers Association says U.S. pig farmers are watching developments related to California’s Proposition 12 awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Last month the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation challenge of California’s Proposition 12, a 2018 ballot initiative that took effect at the beginning of this year which bans the sale of pork in California that fails to meet that state’s animal welfare standards. Kevin Rasmussen, a pig farmer from Humboldt County, Iowa, and President of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, told those on hand earlier this month for Manitoba Pork’s 2022 Annual General meeting, Proposition 12 creates huge uncertainties.

Clip-Kevin Rasmussen-Iowa Pork Producers:
The biggest unknown to the pork production world is the fact that this is one state that’s brought this proposition, this ballot initiative. Massachusetts has Question-3 which is similar. I know Colorado is working on one, there are other states that are working on them. It’s a huge challenge because of the capital investment it takes for a producer to invest in facilities to raise this high-quality protein product. When we build a facility in North America to house sows, that’s a 30-to-40-year lifespan of that facility and so it’s not something we can change at the drop of a hat. So, the concern for the pork industry is if one state allows a ballot initiative like this where does this stop? Currently pork producers do an excellent job of raising a high-quality product that is safe and affordable for the world today. Pork is the number one protein in the world today and we do an excellent job of raising the product.

Rasmussen acknowledges we probably won’t hear the Supreme Court ruling until the end of the year.

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