For the first time, the USDA will report how many hogs are being raised in compliance with animal confinement legislation (ACL), such as Proposition 12 in California. Prop 12 bars the sale of pork produced on farms outside the state that do not provide at least the same amount of floor space for breeding sows as the 24 square feet required in California.
The new classification, effective on Monday, will appear in the National Weekly Direct Swine Non-Carcass Merit Premium report, said the Agricultural Marketing Service. Until now, ACL hogs were listed as “other,” a category that includes hogs raised under programs that pay a bonus for meeting protocols for animal welfare, antibiotic-free, diet/feed, genetics, meat quality, process verified, sow housing, and weight. The volume of ACL-compliant hogs under federal livestock reporting laws has become large enough to be listed separately, said the AMS.
“This addition will provide pork industry stakeholders with the information necessary to make informed production and marketing decisions relating to ACL-compliant hogs,” said the USDA agency.
The National Pork Producers Council, with members throughout the pork supply chain, said it “advocated for and remained engaged with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service throughout the process.”
California has set Jan. 1 as the compliance date for Prop 12.