Pork Prices Sept 15
California's state agriculture agency is throwing cold water on talk of a two-year delay in implementation of Proposition 12, an animal-confinement measure passed by voters in 2018. A new university study predicts that pork prices will rise as a result of the law.
Beginning Jan. 1st, the measure will require farms to add space for certain farm animals, including breeding pigs, or mother sows. In a State Department of Food and Agriculture hearing on Aug. 27, the North American Meat Institute and other farm organizations called for a moratorium on enforcement to allow those subject to the law time to comply.
Prop. 12 provisions require 24 square feet of moving room for each gestating sow. An estimated 99.8% of the pork consumed in California comes from out-of-state, creating a wide net of those impacted by the measure.
The added costs of 20% more space for group-housed sows destined for California, plus the costs of segregation, product tracing and new labeling, will cause the cost of regulated pork products in California to rise by 25 cents per pound, the economists estimate. Although they don't expect the price of pork outside of California to be affected.
Critics of the new law have suffered a string of losses in courts. Republican senators from Iowa proposed federal legislation to stop implementation of Prop. 12, fearing economic damage to their hog farmers, but the UC economists believe federal action is unlikely