An amendment to the Farm Bill by Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa, preventing one state from regulating production practices in other states is facing criticism from the Humane Society of the United States.
King explained the addition, known as the King Amendment, on Tuesday’s Beltway Beef weekly audio by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The amendment says states cannot regulate the manufacture or means of production of the agriculture products that are listed in current law.
In the interview, he cites California as an example of one state influencing regulation in the other 49 states, forcing added infrastructure and raising the cost of livestock production.
“California passed a referendum that doubled the cage size requirement for laying hens, and that’s fine. But then they passed a law that said no eggs can come into California unless they’re also raised in double the cage size. That means double the infrastructure investment for all of our laying houses in America, because California’s that big of a market that they can command that.”
The amendment if facing opposition from what King calls the Vegan Lobby, the HSUS. King says they are trying to raise the cost of production to reduce consumption of eggs, milk, cheese and meats.
“The best people to manage our livestock are the ones who have a vested interest in it,” King said. “Our feeders are the people that will make sure our cattle are taken care of because they care about them, they care about the production.”
The amendment doesn’t affect animal health, and only addresses means of production of agriculture products. King says large animal veterinarians are supportive of the amendment as it leaves animal health in the same condition it’s in today and doesn’t inhibit states or federal government.