WASHINGTON — On Sept. 7, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) noted that they filed a reply brief with the Supreme Court regarding the legality of California’s Proposition 12 animal confinement law.

The two associations filed a lawsuit with the high court following a ruling against them in July 2021 from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Both NPPC and AFBF argued that Prop 12 is unconstitutional because it violates the commerce clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders. 

“We look forward to presenting our case before the Supreme Court on October 11 to defend the livelihoods of America's pork producers,” said Terry Wolters, president of NPPC and owner of Stoney Creek Farms in Pipestone, Minn.

Wolters added that California’s Department of Food and Agriculture recently completed Prop 12 implementation rules more than three years after the original statutory deadline. 

“This delay unnecessarily exacerbated pork supply chain disruptions and now creates significant concerns for farmers that these arbitrary regulations put the nation's pig herd at risk of disease,” he said. “Any farmers raising pigs that provide pork products to the California market must register and will be required to have California agents inspect their farms, which will create serious biosecurity threats across the country.”

Later, in its filing, NPPC and AFBF stated that California imports 99.9% of its pork consumed in the state. 

“They ignore that every part of a pig bears Proposition 12’s costs, wherever that part is sold,” the filing said. “And they devote scores of pages to arguing that Proposition 12 will not affect interstate commerce, and will promote sow welfare and human health, contrary to petitioners’ specific allegations.”

The reply brief can be read in its entirety here