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.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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.