Prop 12 is officially in force – What now?

Much consideration should be given to the impact of limiting food supplies on those among us who can't afford to be too idealistic.


Steve Meyer, National Hog Farmer

Jan 10, 2022


The turning of the calendar to the new year ushers in a significant challenge for the U.S. pork industry — California's Prop 12. I thought it would be a good idea to discuss what we know, think we know and don't know about this auspicious piece of local political shenanigans and what it might mean for pork and hog markets in the year to come. You can read the actual proposition here.


What we know


1. The law was passed on Nov. 6, 2018.


2. Prop 12 defines "confined in a cruel manner" as any one of the following acts:


    ​​​​​​A manner that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending the animal's limbs or turning around freely.

    After Dec. 31, 2021, confining a breeding pig with less than 24 square feet of usable floorspace per pig.


3. Some terms are more fully defined …


What we don't know


The actual requirements of pork sellers and their suppliers since a final rule for implementing Prop 12 has not been published. The latest round of proposed rules was released in early December with the comment period closing on Dec. 14. These would be the rules that were required by the law to be promulgated by Sept. 1, 2019.


"Is a law that is not enforced in effect?" My attorney friends say yes, indeed, the law is the law. The uncertainty of the enforcement of the turn-around and extend-its-limbs provisions appears to be the reason Seaboard and Tyson stopped sales of covered pork products to California customers on Jan. 1…


What this might mean for pork and hog markets


I think it is notable that there were no abrupt shifts in pork and hog markets immediately after Jan. 1, 2022.  That doesn't mean Prop 12 is benign. It really only means that little or no force has been exerted on markets — yet…


Closing thoughts …


much more



SCOTUS Denies Year-Round E15 Petition

Supreme Court Rejects E15 Case; Leaves Door Open on Prop 12, Clean Water Act Cases


By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer



LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The EPA would have to act in order for year-round E15 sales to restart after the Supreme Court denied Growth Energy's request for a hearing in orders handed down Monday.


Though the court's denial was a significant loss for the ethanol industry, two other agriculture-related petitions are still alive before the court.


A National Pork Producers Council's petition on California's Proposition 12, which took effect on Jan. 1, has been moved to the Supreme Court's Jan. 14 conference, according to an NPPC spokesperson. The same is true for a Clean Water Act petition filed by Michael and Chantell Sackett.






Proposition 12 bans the sale of pork from hogs that don't meet the state's new production standards. A federal appeals court upheld the law.


The law requires hog producers to abide by certain regulations to sell pork in California.


Voters in the state passed Proposition 12 in 2018 with nearly 63% of votes supporting it. The law forbids the sale of whole pork meat in California from hogs born of sows not housed in conformity with the law. Proposition 12 forbids sows from being confined in such a way that they cannot lie down, stand up, fully extend their limbs, or turn around without touching the sides of their stalls or other animals.


The National Pork Producers Council argued in briefs filed with the court that the law violates the Commerce Clause by regulating businesses beyond its borders.