Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-245) 30 pp

December 2022

State Policies for Farm Animal Welfare in Production Practices of U.S. Livestock and Poultry Industries: An Overview

Since 2002, 14 U.S States have passed and implemented policies addressing practices that can impact farm animal welfare. The most common policies directly ban confinement practices within a State’s pork, egg, and veal industries or prohibit the sale of products from noncompliant operations. Proposals for future changes are also beginning to target beef and dairy industries. As these policies become increasingly common across States, their influence on animal product industries, markets, and international trade opportunities grows. This report describes the current state of these policies, the extent of their implementation and geographic coverage, and the legal environment and challenges these policies have faced. State policies directly cover a relatively small share of operations and production, but retail sales restrictions can reach beyond State borders to affect U.S. animal product industries more broadly and create market implications for U.S. imports and exports.

Keywords: Animal welfare, cage-free, gestation crates, gestation stalls, veal crates, U.S. State farm policy, confinement restrictions, crate bans, battery cage bans, laying hens, hogs, cattle, eggs, pork, tail docking, retail sales restrictions, livestock, trade barriers, animal products, housing, ballot measures, legislation, operations, breeding animals

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