As a direct response to California’s Proposition 12, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has introduced the Protecting Interstate Commerce for Livestock Producers Act with the goal of protecting farmers from state regulations that some critics have claimed will hurt their business and drive up costs for consumers.
As we have previously blogged, the U.S. Supreme Court in May upheld California’s Proposition 12, which requires that eggs, veal and pork products sold in California must be from animals raised in enclosures meeting certain minimum size requirements, regardless of where the animals were raised. It is estimated that California accounts for 13% of all pork consumption in the US.
Senator Hawley’s bill aims to “protect family farms from going bankrupt and consumers from shouldering higher costs at the grocery store,” according to the senator’s press release. He states that, “Missouri’s livestock producers keep food on the table across America and they shouldn’t be burdened by costly laws – made by other states – that disrupt interstate commerce, drive-up costs, and impose crippling regulations.”
To ensure that no state can mandate animal welfare standards in another state, the bill proposes to accomplish the following:
Preempt states and local governments from regulating the raising, production, and importation of livestock or livestock-derived good from another state or local government;
Allow states to regulate the importation of livestock in the event of animal disease; and
Protect farmers from states implementing laws that are preempted by this bill.