Prop 12: Farm Animal Confinement Initiative

Leo Abustan, Photo Editor

A YES vote will “support the ban on the sale of meat, from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs and eggs from hens, confined to areas below specific minimum space requirement,” reports   And a NO vote will oppose the proposition.

Beginning in 2020, if  Proposition 12 goes through, it will also clearly define space requirement to legally sell meat from calves (at least 43-square-feet of usable floor space); pigs (at least 24-square-feet); and hens (at least 1-square-feet).  According to, this requirement also applies to products from out of state.

If Prop 12 passes, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the California Department of Public Health will enforce space requirement for some livestock.

The violation of this initiative will be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1000.

A similar initiative was passed in California in 2008 called, Proposition 2 sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.  Proposition 2 however, did not have a space requirement and there was no specific governmental agency designated for its enforcement.  

Proposition 12 is heavily supported by almost every animal protection group, many of which have formed ballot measure committees.  Examples of committees formed are Prevent Cruelty California, which raised $6.12 million. The Humane Society of the United States is the biggest contributor at $2.12 million.

Josh Balk, Vice President of the Humane Society, is a supporter of Proposition 12.  “[this] is the most transformational step forward of all time, in regards to animal protections.”  He said.

Proposition 12 is opposed by a number of animal rights organizations including PETA, Friends of Animals, The Association of California Egg Farmers and National Pork Producers.

According to Tracy Reiman, Executive Vice President of PETA-Los Angeles, “[Prop 12] would be a regressive law that will keep hens in abhorrent conditions.”

Humane Farming Association Californians, and other animal rights organizations that are against cruelty, cages, and fraud, likewise formed an organization to oppose Proposition 12.  These organizations have raised $500,000 from the Humane Farming Action Fund, an organization that provides assistance in the form of a civic league.