Legislation

The Alliance closely monitors legislation that may impact animal agriculture at the state and federal level. State legislative measures dictating animal care are often lobbied for by activist organizations and have the potential to impact farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to provide safe, nutritious and affordable animal products for all.
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States in GREEN have pending legislation.

Federal legislation can be found under DC.

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Federal

Here are current pieces of legislation and trends that should be on your radar:

Farm System Reform Act

This bill will place a moratorium on large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s), “strengthen” the Packers and Stockyards Act, and require country origin labeling on beef, pork, and dairy products. Elizabeth Warren recently joined as a cosponsor. The bill was referred to committee in February.

NPPC, AFBF challenging CA’s Prop 12

By attempting to regulate businesses outside of its borders, the organizations say California’s Proposition 12 violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

USDA sued for poultry handling practices at processing plants

The Animal Welfare Institute and Farm Sanctuary sued USDA in federal court for claims that they failed to require humane handling of poultry at slaughter, resulting in ‘adulterated’ (i.e., damaged or contaminated) products that violate the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Egg laying hen confinement

Legislation prohibiting the confinement of egg laying hens has been introduced in Arizona (HB 2724), Maine (LD 2084), and New York (AB 11041).

Off-shore aquaculture

A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.2467) seeks to prohibit the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce from authorizing commercial finfish aquaculture operations in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, except in accordance with a law enacted after enactment of this bill. There is also a bill in the U.S. Senate (S.4723) to establish a regulatory system for sustainable offshore aquaculture in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

Plant-based makers challenge labeling laws

Upton’s Naturals Co. and the Plant Based Foods Association are suing the state of Oklahoma for a law that requires a manufacturers to place a plant-based claim on labels. Tofurky is challenging a Louisiana law that bans food producers from marketing plant-based products as traditional words associated with meat, like burger or sausage.

Hawaii HB 2740: Relating to Public Schools

Requires the Department of Education to develop plant-based alternatives to satisfy 50 percent of protein requirements in meals offered across all public schools annually and incorporate plant-based diet education, including positive environmental impacts, into its dietary health curriculum.

New Jersey A4533

A bill concerning the welfare of animals has been reintroduced in New Jersey. The bill states that animals are “sentient beings” that, if treated poorly, should be recognized as persons that can sue in court.

New Jersey SB 1971

Establishes animal cruelty offense of cruel confinement of a gestating pig.

New York AB 9708

Requires licensed slaughterhouses to have a closed circuit camera and television system in all areas with live animals; establishes a reporting requirement pursuant to inspections where a violation is found.

Farm protection bills are introduced to prevent animal rights extremists from gaining illicit employment on farms with the intent to damage the farms’ reputation.

States with current farm protection laws:
Farm protection laws have been overturned in these states:
States with pending farm protection bills:
International Laws:

Under FDA Final Guidance 209, Final Guidance 213 and the Veterinary Feed Directive, all medically important antibiotics used in animal feed or water are only for the therapeutic purposes of disease treatment, disease control or disease prevention and under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Some states have introduced bills that would restrict when farmers and veterinarians are allowed to administer antibiotics to food-producing animals. Others would require farmers to submit paperwork regarding their antibiotic usage to the state department of agriculture.

States with laws regarding antibiotic use impacting animal agriculture:

Some bills and ballot initiatives are introduced to challenge production systems and raise the cost for the farmers and ranchers raising livestock and poultry and ultimately for consumers at the grocery store. Below are just a few examples from different industries.

States with laws impacting how animals are raised:

Every state has a Right to Farm law protecting farmers and ranchers who use accepted and standard farming practices from nuisance lawsuits. Several states have introduced amendments that would change the state’s law to prevent new legislation from interfering with farming practices.

States with pending Right to Farm legislation: