Despite having just over 200-thousand hogs in their state, California law is set to impact how the nation’s remaining 235 million are raised. A lawsuit filed by Farm Bureau and the National Pork Producers Council is challenging the ballot measure passed last year by voters. Todd Hays of Monroe City is one of 13 farmers mentioned in the lawsuit and says even before the proposition takes effect, he and thousands of other producers have to start making significant changes to their farms this spring if they want to continue selling pork in California.

In the declaration Hays submitted for the lawsuit, he warns that complying with the proposition’s requirement to use group pen spaces instead of individual stalls would increase sow mortality and lameness rates, as well as labor costs, all while losing productivity. Hays says while compliance would be difficult, so would telling their processors to not send their product to California.

Sections of Proposition 12 concerning pork production are scheduled to take effect in January 2022.