The North American Meat Institute, speaking for the large meat-packers and egg processors in the United States, has asking the federal Court of Appeals in California for permission to challenge regulations adopted by voters in the Nov. 6 election.
They voted in favour of Proposition 12 which seeks to set minimum standards for housing laying hens, veal calves and gestating sows.
Meat institute president and chief executive officer Julie Anna Potts said “Proposition 12 hurts the family on a budget by causing higher prices for pork, veal and eggs, and unfairly punishes livestock producers outside of California by forcing them to spend millions just to access California markets.”
She said it also protects California’s farmers from out-of-state competition.
The proposed standard for veal and sows says they must have housing that enables them to sit and freely turn around. The minimum space for veal is 43 square feet and for sows 23 square feet.
For laying hens, the minimum is 144 square inches and they must be able to scratch and dust bathe and have perches and nest boxes available.