How will prop 12 affect sow housing?


by Laurence Williams, The Pig Site

19 February 2021


Set to take effect on January 1, 2022, California's Proposition 12 will prohibit the sale of pork not raised according to specific production guidelines. This restriction includes pork produced in the state as well as production outside the state borders.


While California consumes 15% of the nationís pork, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) estimates only 1% of the U.S. production system currently meets Prop 12 guidelines. While that may not impact many hog farms today, we can look at the recent history of the layer industry to understand how this may lead to drastic changes in the future.


In 2008 California voters passed Prop 2, requiring confined hens "freedom of movement." This law was later followed up in 2010 by the governor signing Assembly Bill 1437, which extended these same requirements to eggs sold instate but produced outside of the state. And in 2013, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) issued a minimum standard requiring 116 square inches per bird. Michigan, Oregon, Maine, and Washington also have laws regulating layer housing that will take effect in the near future. In response to this regulation, cage-free egg production grew from 6% in 2008 to over 24% today...


... The typical farm will lose about 25 - 33% of sow capacity when moving to these increased space requirements...


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