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Prop 12: Expanding Living Space for Livestock

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Props in a Minute: Prop 12 - Farm Animals

                                          This proposition passed.                                          

                                         Encuentra la versión en español aqui

Sponsored by Sheppard Mullin, a full service, global law firm with 825 attorneys. The firm handles corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.


Ban the sales of meat and eggs that do not give enough living space for livestock.


This initiative from the Humane Society repeals and replaces the rules on animal confinement that went into effect in 2015 after being approved by voters as Proposition 2 in 2008.

Vote Yes

Vote No

Supports banning the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet. Opposes banning the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet.

The rules that went into effect in 2015 were aimed at preventing confinement of a farm animal in a way that prevented it from “(a) lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs; and (b) Turning around freely.” Opponents considered that wording too vague.

The new standards are more specific in terms of space requirements - 43 square feet of usable floor space per calf starting in 2020, 24 square feet per pig starting in 2022. Also that year, the initiative would require that egg-laying hens be raised according to the United Egg Producers' 2017 cage-free guidelines. Some animal rights organizations oppose Prop 12 as a step backward because it embraces those industry-approved guidelines, but many more such groups have endorsed the initiative. As of midsummer, the supporters had raised about $4.7 million, and the opponents had raised only $550,000, from the Humane Farming Action Fund, an animal rights group. 

The Association of California Egg Farmers and National Pork Producers Council say Prop 12 could lead to food shortages and higher prices. But the industry groups seem more interested in working around the California voters' aversion to animal cruelty than taking it on directly. They have gone to court, to Congress and to other states to argue California should not be able to impose its stricter and more costly standards on products shipped across state lines.

If Prop 12 is approved, state agriculture and public health officials would be responsible for enforcement, and violations would be misdemeanors punishable with fines up to $1,000. Sellers would not be liable if they relied on the suppliers certifying in writing that their animal products complied with the standards.

Click here for a printable version of all the propositions on the November ballot.

Data from Cal Access as of 10/30/18. 



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