WASHINGTON — After a coalition led by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) filed suit to stop the enforcement of a Massachusetts state law specifying sow confinement requirements, a US federal court judge for the District of Massachusetts signed a court order delaying the law on Aug. 11.
The Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, also known as Question 3 (Q3), was previously put on hold in December 2021.
Q3 is similar to California’s Proposition 12, which is currently under the US Supreme Court’s review. Q3 would ban sale of uncooked whole pork meat that does not meet the state’s sow housing requirements and would prohibit transshipment of whole pork through the state. NPPC estimated that $2 billion of pork moves through Massachusetts to nearby states.
“The impact of Question 3 would have been particularly harmful to those in surrounding New England states who did not have a vote in the 2016 Massachusetts referendum, nor any notice of the dramatic steps that activists had taken trying to force these harmful initiatives on voters in other states,” said Terry Wolters, NPPC president and owner of Stoney Creek Farms in Pipestone, Minn.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy’s office and the coalition, which included the National Restaurant association and other hospitality groups, reached an agreement to put the Q3 rule on hold for at least 30 days after the Supreme Court issues a ruling on Prop. 12.