LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California judge has decided to delay enforcement of part of a new farm animal welfare law that critics said would cause price hikes and supply shortages for bacon and other fresh pork products in the state.
The law that went into effect Jan. 1 stemmed from a 2018 ballot measure where California voters set the nation’s toughest living space standards for breeding pigs.
Proposition 12 requires farms in the state to keep egg-laying hens in cage-free housing systems. It also bans the confinement of breeding pigs in areas with less than 24 square feet of usable floor space per pig.
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Prop. 12 also bans grocery stores from selling animal products from farms that don't comply with the new space rules. That means egg and pork producers across the country will have to upgrade their confinement spaces.
Superior Court Judge James Arguelles says retailers and restaurants will not be subject to enforcement of the new restrictions on whole pork meat sales until six months after the state enacts final regulations.
Thirteen other states have similar laws, although Prop. 12 would give California some of the strictest in the nation.