Supreme Court opts not to intervene in state animal cases

Farmers around the country are going to have to fight out their livestock concerns in the state courts.

The Supreme Court has denied hearing a dispute involving 15 states that want to implement animal living condition stipulations similar to what California and Massachusetts currently have.

Better Accommodations

The lawsuits all center around the living conditions for farm animals, which advocates say need to be greatly improved.

Pictures of current conditions have been making their way around social media for years.

In many cases, advocates say, the animals do not even have a spare inch to move around in their cages, creating some very disturbing images.

While the advocates accept the fact that these animals are being raised for slaughter, they still insist that living conditions need to be improved so that animals are not literally stacked on top of each other.

But if the farmers lose this lawsuit, they will be looking at adding significant costs to their operations.

California Paved the Way

The legislation that started all of this was first passed in 2008 in California.

Voters approved measures that would require farmers to provide enough space for their birds — like chickens and turkeys — to stand up, lie down, turn around, and extend their limbs.

Farmers had seven full years to comply with the legislation.

Then, in 2010, legislators added to the new measure by requiring 116 square inches of space per bird.

And even though the measures cost Californians an estimated $350 million annually because of higher prices due to the new restrictions, they voted for even more restrictions in 2017.

Now, the state is mandating that any eggs sold in the state must be from cage-free birds.

Farmers have three more years to comply with that new provision.

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Additionally, measures were recently passed to improve the living conditions of both pigs and calves.

The farmers fighting the case are arguing that the new measures are unconstitutional because they are forcing legislation from other states onto these additional states.

But the Supreme Court won’t be hearing that argument any time soon.

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