13 Attorneys General across the U.S. fighting against Massachusetts pork law

October 11, 2023 – Massachusetts has recently implemented a law that bans states from selling or shipping pork to the Commonwealth if they do not meet strict hog-housing restrictions. However, 13 states are fighting this new law stating it will cost pork producers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The law, An Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals, went into effect in late August but will not be enforced for at least six months. Voters in 2016 approved a ballot question that banned the sale of eggs, veal and pork from animals held in conditions deemed cruel. The law requires pigs to have enough space to lie down, stand up, turn around freely and fully extend their limbs.

Nearly all of pork products sold in Massachusetts are imported from other states.

Attorneys General from Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming are opposing the recent law, claiming it’ll cost farmers in their states money, drive them out of business, and dramatically raise pork prices. Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird also stated the new ban would set a dangerous precedent that would allow states to “upend markets across the nation based on their political agendas.”

“Massachusetts’s radical pork ban hogties Iowa pork producers,” said Attorney General Bird. “With these strict new mandates in effect, Iowa farmers will face extreme costs and regulations to compete in the industry, forcing many family hog farms to close shop. Massachusetts doesn’t get to dictate how Iowans farm. We are fighting to support our pork producers and protect Iowa family farms.”

Bird believes the new law violates the Constitution and the Import-Export Clause, which she says prohibits states from imposing import regulations on products brought in from other states.

By Nick DeGray, WWLP Springfield
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