‘King amendment’ is part of House bill

The Farm Bill passed Wednesday night by the House Ag Committee includes the “Protect Interstate Commerce Act”, which would bar states from imposing their own animal-welfare standards on eggs, meat and other ag products brought in from other states.

The amendment is aimed at preventing farmers in other states from having to comply with measures such as California’s Prop 2 initiative that requires farms to provide more space to hens, hogs and other livestock. 

The amendment was introduced by Iowa Representative Steve King.

“I’m fine if California wants to say ‘if you’re going to bring an egg in here, it has to be egg-shaped—and if you want to bring some beef in here, it needs to be produced with the idea of the regulations of the USDA in mind’,” King said.  “But I’m not fine if California—and it isn’t just California, it’s other states–it’s a patchwork quilt of these issues and we need to draw the line now while we still can.”

California Representative Jim Costa objected to the amendment.

“Congress does not have the authority to regulate interstate commerce in a way that strips states—I believe—of their sovereign state authority,” Costa said. “In effect, it’s a federal takeover of a long-standing state’s internal legislative authority.”

The president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, warns that the King amendment could essentially “nullify” California’s Prop 2 and all state and local laws designed to protect farm animals.

AUDIO: Excerpts from House Ag Comm debate on King amendment (14:38 MP3)

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  • Maybe someone should stick people who believe in the king amendment in a small cage to really find out what it feels like in there.
    No room to move around, your freedom ripped from your grasp.

    Live in a cage for a day like a pig does, than tell me you believe in the king amendment.

  • Elizibeth, ‘freedom’ is important to humans, not so much to pigs. In any case what about the freedom of piglets to survive rather than be squashed by momma as she often does when not penned closely while raising them? Mother nature doesn’t care; she provides enough spares that a few dead ones don’t matter. Is that your view of things?

    Or what about the freedom of farm workers to be reasonably safe around an animal that weighs perhaps 700 pounds and may easily misunderstand the intentions of her caregivers? Ask anyone with a few years of pig experience about human injuries and deaths caused by pigs. They’re really NOT ‘Babe.’

    Adullt sows may fight over food, even when there’s plenty. They get nasty injuries which are often pointed out by animal rightsts as being due to abusive handling … but you can’t have it both ways.

    The injuries and deaths caused by giving sows ‘freedom’ involve both animal suffering and higher pork prices but perhaps you don’t care about those — maybe we should solve that by becoming vegans? Of course that means no domesticated pigs and no more meat but hey, ‘pig freedom’ is more important than human freedom, right?

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