July 13, 2023


Extension of Stay on Enforcement of the MA Pork Regulations

In an update to the timeline on enforcement of the MA pork regulations, all parties involved in the MA lawsuit recently agreed to a further extension of the stay period until August 23, 2023
All parties agreed that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the related case of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) challenge to California’s Prop 12, resolved many of the disputed issues in the challenge to the MA regulations.  However, additional time is required to determine what issues remain and how they might be resolved in further discussion. 
The stay is related to the pending implementation of Question 3 from 2016, Relative to the Housing of Farm Animals, and the resulting MA regulations, specifically as they relate to pork.  On May 11, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released an opinion in National Pork Producers v. Ross, which challenged California’s Prop 12 animal confinement standards for egg laying hens, breeding pigs and veal calves for products sold in California. The Court ruled against industry’s challenge, and in favor of the CA law.
That decision had implications for not only Prop 12, but also for Question 3.  Question 3 was approved by the voters and became law in 2016.  A late amendment to the law in December 2021 brought MA egg standards in line with the newly acceptable national standard, granted primary regulatory authority to the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), and delayed its effective date to August 15, 2022.  MDAR’s implementing regulations did not take effect as they were then also challenged in court, in light of the SCOTUS review of Prop 12. 
Further guidance from MDAR is expected as any remaining issues are resolved.



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