On January 1st, 2022, the final phase of California’s Proposition 12 was enacted, freeing millions of hens, breeding pigs, and calves from extreme confinement.
Proposition 12 was initially passed through a ballot initiative during the state’s 2018 election with 63% of public support. Since then, the measure has proved victorious over three lawsuits from the factory meat and egg industries and several attempts to delay its implementation. Compassion in World Farming USA joined lawsuits along with several other welfare organizations which were instrumental in blocking these attempts by the opposition, ultimately ensuring basic, permanent protections for millions of animals.
The law bans both the production and sale of products from animals who live in caged systems that do not meet the minimum requirements, meaning producers across the nation will need to adhere to California’s law if they plan to continue selling their products in the Golden State. As the nation’s most populous state and the fifth largest economy in the world, Proposition 12 has sent shockwaves across the livestock industry. The USDA even commented on the law’s effects in the most recent Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report, noting that the total number of cage-free hens is already 18% higher than last year and is expected to increase to meet California’s demand.
Compassion USA commends California for taking this monumental step toward a cage-free future. For more information about our public policy work, see our public policy page.