Local NewsCalifornia pioneers global ban on cage-farmed animal products

California pioneers global ban on cage-farmed animal products

Ban on cage farming in California
Ban on cage farming in California
Images source: © Canva
8:42 AM EDT, April 18, 2024

California has become the first place in the world to completely ban the sale of products from cage farming, a move praised by animal rights organizations now urging the European Union to adopt similar laws.

The state has taken a groundbreaking step by legally prohibiting the cage farming of animals. Starting in 2024, the sale of pork, veal, and eggs from animals not granted sufficient living space as per the new standards will be banned. This regulation extends to products imported from outside the state as well.

California enacts landmark law to protect farm animals

Home to nearly 40 million people, California spearheaded the initiative with Proposition 12, which received overwhelming support from voters in 2018. Despite facing legal challenges from the industrial animal farming sector, the Supreme Court solidified the legislation in 2023, following the San Francisco Appeals Court’s affirmation.

Recognized as one of the most forward-thinking legal measures for animal welfare globally, Proposition 12 aims to significantly diminish animal suffering. By setting minimum space requirements, the law effectively eliminates the use of cages for hens, pigs, and calves meant for food production and also prohibits the trade of such products from animals raised in cramped conditions abroad.

European organizations advocate for similar import bans

The EuroGroup for Animals (EFA), representing 98 non-governmental organizations throughout Europe, sees California’s law as a benchmark for EU legislation. According to the EFA's website, Proposition 12 could herald the inclusion of similar standards for imported goods in the upcoming overhaul of EU animal welfare policies.

The EFA pointed out the current disparity where most EU animal welfare criteria do not cover imports. This gap allows for the cheaper acquisition of products from countries with lower welfare standards, perpetuating inhumane animal farming practices abroad.

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