Animal Rights Groups Oppose King Amendment

Animal rights groups are continuing their opposition to an amendment to the House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill draft that would limit the power of individual states to regulate agricultural production.

The amendment, offered by Iowa Representative Steve King, was the result of an agreement between the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the U.S., previous enemies who collectively agreed to improve the conditions of hens on American egg farms. Helping to prompt this spirit of cooperation and agreement was the California legislature, which passed a law requiring all eggs sold in California to conform to new cage requirements.

In response to this, Representative King inserted, at the last minute, an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill limiting the power of states to regulate elements of agricultural production. The amendment forbids states from “impos[ing] a standard or condition on the production or manufacture of any agricultural product sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce if such production or manufacture occurs in another state.”

Some animal rights, however, are complaining that the proposed amendment goes too far. Specifically, some fear that the wording of the amendment could be used to nullify local labor laws and agricultural regulations.

Groups like the National Pork Producers Council argue that the bill is necessary to prevent state interference of interstate agricultural commerce.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer