BREAKING NEWS: Judge dismisses attempt to overturn California’s historic cage-free law

By on April 28, 2020 with 11 Comments

A federal judge has rejected an attempt by the factory farming industry to overturn a landmark California law that’s the strongest farm animal protection law in the world.

The lawsuit dismissed yesterday by Judge Thomas Whelan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California was filed by lobbyists for the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation. It was nearly identical to a lawsuit brought by another industry group, the North American Meat Institute, which represents industrial pork and veal factory farms. Last November, we and our allies defeated that group’s attempt to halt California’s law from going into effect.

California’s law bans the extreme cage confinement of egg-laying hens, mother pigs and veal calves within the state. It also bans the sale of products from these abused animals within California, no matter where the eggs, pork and veal were produced. The Humane Society of the United States and our allies conceived and successfully put this measure on the state’s ballot in 2018 (as Proposition 12), and it passed with a nearly two-thirds majority in the state.

The law has resulted in a revolution in the treatment of egg laying hens. Largely as a result of Prop. 12, laws like it and consumer demand, egg producers are rushing to convert to cage-free facilities, guaranteeing that tens of millions of animals will never know the misery of cage confinement.

Other states have also moved to ban cage confinement in recent years. In 2016, Massachusetts citizens overwhelmingly approved Question 3, which largely mirrors Prop 12. Last year, we secured groundbreaking cage-free laws in Oregon, Washington and Michigan. And in the private sector, more than 200 companies have agreed to stop sourcing eggs and/or pork derived from extreme confinement systems.

But instead of encouraging producers to change with the times, the factory farming industry is asking them to spend their money on frivolous lawsuits that have little chance of success. They should recognize by now that the writing is on the wall: the public is demanding cage-free reform, and lawmakers and businesses are rushing to comply. There are fewer takers than ever before for the cruel and archaic factory farming practices of the past.


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  1. Jessica Hausman says:

    Bravos for Judge Whelan for uholding the right thing!

  2. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    No es justo que los animalitos pasen sus vidas encerradas esto no puede seguir pasando

  3. Lesley Partridge says:

    How wonderful that the judge wouldn’t go backwards in time to caging animals. I read so very many sad stories regarding the welfare are farm animals. I feel so uplifted by this judge. I don’t eat meat and the welfare of animals is a constant concern for me. How wonderful there are such caring people in the world.

    Well done to all of those involved. I wish the whole world had such caring people looking after animals.

  4. Lesley Partridge says:

    I am so impressed by California’s laws regarding the welfare of animals.I wish it were so for the who world.

  5. Dorothy Loper says:

    I am so happy that the “cage free” legislation is protecting so many animals that formerly were experiencing the cruelty of being confined in small cages. I have been buying ‘cage free” eggs for as long as they have been available and am relieved to know that other animals are being protected also. A big THANK YOU to all who participated in this legislation!!

  6. Maria Martinez says:

    Does this include the animals in the wet cages being sold as food. They are in cages alive then taken out beheaded & sold as food.

  7. Karen Stammeyer says:

    NO ANIMAL SHOULD BE CHQINES OR CAGED UP, animals are not ours to abuse.

  8. Theresa Mc Dermott says:

    Factory “farmers” (or animal abusers! 🤢) KARMA you heartless individuals 😨

  9. Maurice says:

    Cage free! Yay!

  10. Patty Ramirez says:

    Free the chickens

  11. Steve says:


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