Rep. Steve King Amendment Fails with Farm Bill

Update: Rep. Steve King’s bill, H.R. 4879 was included as a draft amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill which has been defeated in the House of Representatives. But it is important as the Farm Bill is redrafted that representatives know that you do not support King’s Farm Bill amendment that restricts local governments from setting humane standards for the treatment of farm animals.

Read Animal Law Coalition’s original report and find out how you can help stop the 2018 King Amendment

Original report February 19, 2019: In 2013 Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced a provision that would have effectively taken away the ability of state and local governments to pass laws requiring better treatment for farm animals. That provision did not become law, but now Rep. King is trying again with his bill, H.R. 4879.

King’s bill, H.R. 4879, would target, for example, the 2010 California law that prohibits sale of eggs in the state that are from hens kept in conditions inconsistent with Cal Health & Saf Code Sec. 25990. That law, known as California’s anti-confinement law for farm animals, requires that “for all or the majority of any day”, egg laying hens must be able to lay down, stand up and fully extend their limbs or wings without touching the sides of an enclosure or other hens, and also turn around freely. See further Cal Health & Saf Code Section 25991.

Under Congressman King’s bill this California law could not be applied to foreign egg producers that want to sell eggs in the state. Other jurisdictions could sell eggs from hens cruelly crammed into battery cages and likely undercut the prices of local egg producers that must meet state humane standards.

King’s amendment would wreak havoc with efforts of local citizens to stop animal cruelty and threaten protections not only for egg laying hens and other farm animals, but also laws that prohibit or regulate puppy and cat mills and other animal breeders, ban horse slaughter and protect wildlife. The King amendment would threaten state and local standards for food safety, environmental protection and worker safety. Rep. King would force every state and locale to open its markets to those producers with the worst standards. Don’t let Congressman King undermine state’s rights and turn the clock back centuries on standards for animal welfare, the environment, and food and worker safety.


Find your U.S. representative here.

Urge your U.S. representative (letters, post cards, or calls are best) to speak out against Rep. Steve King’s amendment to the Farm Bill and vote NO to H.R. 4879.

Signatures Obtained for CA Ballot Initiative to Improve on Prop 2

Farm Sanctuary (flickr)

Update: The ballot initiative organizers, Prevent Cruelty California, has collected more than 600,000 signatures of California voters! The initiative, Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, will be on the ballot this November in California! Read more about the ballot initiative in Animal Law Coalition’s report below.

Original report February 22, 2018: Voters in Massachusetts approved by 77.6% to 22.3% a similar initiative, Question 3, in the election on November 8, 2016. Under that measure which goes into effect in 2022, egg laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal must be able to (1) stand, (2) lie down, (3) turn freely without touching the enclosure, or in the case of hens, without touching another hen or the enclosure; and (4) fully extend their limbs touching the enclosure, or, in the case of hens, without touching another hen or the enclosure; and (5) for hens, access to at least 1.5 square foot of space.

No eggs, veal or pork can be sold in Massachusetts from hens, breeding pigs or calves kept for veal, or their offspring, that have not been kept in compliance with these standards. This means out of state producers must comply in order to sell their eggs, pork and veal in Massachusetts.

When California voters passed Proposition 2 in 2008, it was a landmark law, the first to require egg producers to give egg laying hens confined in battery cages sufficient room to stand up, lie down, turn around freely, and fully extend their wings. Prop 2 also joined other states in requiring the same standards for pregnant pigs and calves used to produce veal.

Now the Humane Society of the United States has introduced a ballot initiative in California called the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act that would improve upon the Prop 2 standards like the new Massachusetts law and ban the sale of eggs, pork, and veal that has not been produced in accord with this new requirements.

In order to place this measure on the November, 2018 ballot HSUS and its coalition must collect 365,000 signatures in support from registered voters.

8th grader creates Premarin mare advocacy website

An Eighth-grader from Alabama contacted Animal Law Coalition to gather information about Premarin mares. Our young advocate had heard about the cruel conditions the mares were kept in while their urine was collected to make menopausal treatment drugs. This animal loving 8th grader asked all the right questions. They then asked how they could help educate people about the plight of these magnificent horses. We mentioned building a website to tell the world about Premarin mares is a great way to advocate for the horses. After a few months we received an e-mail proudly announcing the launching of a new animal advocacy website built by this Alabama 8th grade student! You can visit the site at

Let this be an inspiration to all of us.
(Photo public domain courtesy of theopenmind.)

Will NJ Ban Gestation Crates?

Farm Sanctuary (flickr)
Farm Sanctuary (flickr)
A renewed effort is underway to pass a ban on use of gestation crates in New Jersey for pregnant pigs. A bill, S. 1921, sailed through the legislature with overwhelming support only to be vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie (R).

Under the bill it would be a disorderly persons offense to crate, confine or tether a gestating pig “in a manner that prevents the animal from being able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, or fully extend its limbs”. The penalty would be $250-$1000 per offense.

There are a number of exceptions:
(1) medical research;
(2) veterinary examination, testing, individual treatment, an operation, or other veterinary procedures;
(3) transportation of the animal;
(4) an exhibition or educational program, including, but not necessarily limited to, a 4-H program, county or State fair, or rodeo;
(5) animal husbandry purposes, provided the confinement is temporary and for no more than eight hours in any 24-hour period;
(6) humane slaughtering of the animal in accordance with all applicable laws, and rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, concerning the slaughter of animals; and
(7) proper care of the gestating sow during the 10-day period prior to the expected date of the gestating sow giving birth.

The ban would not take effect until December 31, 2018.


Find your New Jersey state legislators here. Urge them to vote yes on the override to S. 1921 and give pigs more space.

New Jersey state Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak is the senate sponsor. Assembly member Gilbert Wilson was the Assembly sponsor of the Assembly version of the bill, A3250.

Florida, Oregon, Michigan, Maine, Arizona, Colorado and California ban use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs. It’s time for New Jersey to ban this cruel practice.