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Biden Administration Backs The Pork Industry’s Prop 12 Opposition


The Biden administration has filed a brief in the Supreme Court that backs the National Pork Producers Council (NPCC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in their challenge of California’s Proposition 12.

Proposition 12, otherwise known as the “Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act,” is considered the United States’ strongest law that improves living conditions for farmed animals. It establishes minimum requirements for farmers to provide adequate space for hens, pigs used for breeding, and calves used for veal. It also prevents California businesses from selling animal products that come from farms outside of the state that do not meet the minimum requirements. 

piglets feeding from pig in gestation crate

This measure was presented to California voters on their ballots in 2018 and passed with 63% of voters in favor of the new animal protection law. Despite popular support, Proposition 12 has been opposed by the meat industry which notoriously chooses profits over animal welfare. However, their attempts to overturn the law have so far been unsuccessful…but they are hopeful the Supreme Court will change that.

On September 27, 2021, the NPCC and AFBF filed a petition to bring their case opposing Proposition 12 in front of the United States Supreme Court. They claim Proposition 12 violates the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution. This clause restricts the ability of states to regulate commerce outside of their borders.

On March 28, 2022, the NPCC’s and AFBF’s petition was granted. The Supreme Court began accepting briefs from organizations that opposed and were in favor of Proposition 12. On June 17, the Biden administration filed a brief siding with the pork industry.

It is extremely disappointing that the Biden administration has chosen to side with the powerful pork industry, completely disregarding clear principles of constitutional law, as well as the wishes of millions of Americans. It is a sad example of the undemocratic influence that big meat companies have over the political process. We will fight harder than ever to ensure the rule of law and the voices of compassionate Americans cut through the noise of corporate lobbyists.

-Sarah Hanneken, Legal Advocacy Counsel for Animal Equality

In the brief, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar claims California “has no legitimate interest in protecting the welfare of animals located outside the state,” quoting a previous Supreme Court decision. The brief continues to say, “Voters in pork-producing States must determine what constitutes ‘cruel’ treatment of animals housed in those States — not voters in California,” quoting a 1935 Supreme Court decision, Baldwin v. G.A.F. Seelig Inc.

The Proposition 12 case is set to be heard in front of the Supreme Court on October 11, 2022. 


California voters made their voices heard to protect farmed animals. Help lift their voices up by calling on President Biden to protect California’s vote and the animals. Tweet the President and ask him to reverse his support of the pork industry!

Send these Tweets or create your own using #ProtectProp12

  • CLICK TO TWEET #1: The Supreme Court may overturn CA’s #Prop12, putting animal cruelty laws across the country in jeopardy. @POTUS has the power to lend his support for states’ rights to protect animals. Please Mr. President, reverse your support of the pork industry and #ProtectProp12
  • CLICK TO TWEET #2: Please, @POTUS, protect CA’s #Prop12 from being overturned in the Supreme Court. Reverse your support of the pork industry. Take the side of the vote and animals and #ProtectProp12 🙏
  • CLICK TO TWEET #3: URGENT. @POTUS, please reverse your support of the pork industry and protect #Prop12. The animals and the people who voted for this are counting on you! #ProtectProp12

You can also lend your voice against this cruelty by signing our petition to put an end to factory farming.


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