LOS ANGELES – (May 11, 2023) – In a historic day for animals and California voters, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld Proposition 12. The law, enacted in 2018 by voter initiative with nearly two-thirds support, protects pregnant mother pigs from extreme confinement. It also bans the use of veal crates (for calves), battery cages (for egg-laying hens), and prohibits the sale of products from such inhumane systems in the state of California.
Farm Sanctuary was an intervenor in the case, as part of a coalition of nonprofit organizations — led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) — urging SCOTUS to uphold the law. Farm Sanctuary has worked for decades to give farm animals a voice in the legal system, including with the first successful ballot initiative that passed in Florida in 2002 to ban gestation crates.
Gene Baur, President and Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, said, “Like all animals, farm animals have feelings, and they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Citizens in California and other states have consistently voted to outlaw the extreme and inhumane confinement of animals in cages and crates on factory farms, and we are very grateful that the Supreme Court of the United States, like other courts before it, has affirmed California’s compassion and upheld Prop 12. Kindness to other animals is not only good for the animals, it’s also good for us. This decision is a critical step in the fight to protect farm animals and the expressed interests of California voters.”
Farm Sanctuary General Counsel Cynthia von Schlichten said, “SCOTUS’s decision to uphold Prop 12 is a critical victory for animals. The ruling will no doubt help to protect other state animal protection initiatives succeeding all over the country, which may face challenges from Big Ag similar to Prop 12. SCOTUS chose to prioritize democracy over industry interests. We will continue to embrace the democratic process, demanding industry accountability and humane reforms that are supported by the vast majority of people in the U.S.”
Founded in 1986, Farm Sanctuary fights the disastrous effects of animal agriculture on animals, the environment, social justice, and public health through rescue, education, and advocacy. The organization provides lifelong care for animals rescued from abuse at Sanctuary locations in New York and California, fosters just and compassionate vegan living, and advocates for legal and policy reforms.