States in GREEN have pending legislation.
Federal legislation can be found under DC.
Click on a state to view past and pending legislation.
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Here are current pieces of legislation that should be on your radar:
Introduced on 12/11/2019, this bill grants authority to the FDA to investigate CAFOs that have been implicated in food poisoning outbreaks.
This bill was introduced by Senator Cory Booker on 12/16/2019. This bill will place a moratorium on large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s), “strengthen” the Packers and Stockyards Act, and to require country origin labeling on beef, pork, and dairy products. According to this bill, after enactment no “large” CAFO (defined in the text for each industry) will be allowed to commence or expand operations. No “large” CAFO may continue to operate as a “large” CAFO after January 1, 2040. This bill will also provide debt forgiveness and transitional assistance for AFO (animal feed operation) farmers that decide to transition to other activities.
LR2897 was approved by the Maine Legislative Council on 12/12/2019. This bill prohibits chickens in certain confinements as well as the sale of their eggs.
To Require Truth In Labeling Of Agricultural Products That Are Edible By Humans: Passed on 3/18/2019, this law prohibits products to be labeled as meat or meat product if they are not derived from livestock, poultry, or cervids. On 10/07/2019 The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Tofurkey to block the law. As of 12/10/2019 the law has had a preliminary injunction placed on it by a federal judge. This means that the law cannot be enforced until the trial is settled.
PACT Act: The President has passed a bill as of 11/25/2019 that makes animal cruelty a federal felony.
Challenge of California’s Prop 12 in court: As of 12/6/2019 the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) have filed a legal challenge to California’s Proposition 12. NAMI filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12: The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative (Prop 12 or the law). The Meat Institute opposes the law because it will hurt the nation’s food value chain by significantly increasing costs for producers and consumers. As of 11/23/2019, the NAMI challenge has been rejected by a California judge.
The Alliance monitors legislation that may impact animal agriculture. Here are some trends we’ve seen over the years:
Ballot Initiatives introduced by animal rights organizations 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.
The initiative, supported by the Humane Society of the United States, would require MA farms and businesses to produce and sell only eggs from cage-free hens, pork from pigs not raised in or born of a sow raised in conventional housing, and would also apply to veal housing. The ballot passed with 77 percent of the vote on Nov. 8, 2016.
California Prop 2: Also backed by HSUS, this initiative would prohibit with certain exceptions, the confinement on a farm of gestating pigs, veal calves, and egg-laying hens in a manner that prevents the animal to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend its limbs. Related, on July 6, 2010, AB 1437, a bill to require out-of-state eggs meet the same requirements imposed on CA producers by Proposition 2, was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. Prop 2 and AB 1437 both took effect on the same day: January 1, 2015.
Farm Protection Legislation: Introduced to prevent animal rights extremists from gaining illicit employment on farms with the intent to damage the farms’ reputation. Eight states currently have farm protection laws: Montana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Kansas, Alabama and Arkansas. Farm protection laws have been ruled unconstitutional in four states: Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Iowa.
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.
Right to Farm Amendments:
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.
Livestock Care Standards Advisory Boards:
States have adopted bills relating to farm animal welfare to establish standards for livestock and poultry care and well-being in the state. So far, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia have such boards.