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Proposition 12

Call to Action

This e-mail requests public comment to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) regarding Proposition 12 (Prop 12) regulations. CDFA is proposing modifying regulation text and adding documents to the rulemaking file related to Prop 12. The public comment period on suggested changes ends on Friday, December 17, 2021.

The problem

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is tasked with developing and reinforcing the regulations of Proposition 12 (Prop 12).Prop 12 was passed in 2018 by California voters and sets confinement standards for laying hens, veal calves, and breeding pigs. Regulation of Prop 12 will go into effect on January 1, 2022.

The current regulations proposed by CDFA would require a tremendous amount of paperwork and tracing by both fairs and hog processing facilities in California.

Youth swine projects are usually the largest by number within our livestock barn.Students in suburban or urban areas raise hogs, because they have a low initial investment and can be housed at school facilities. Without an exemption, these students would lose the opportunity to participate in an introductory agriculture experience.

Recent FAQ documents from CDFA state only those animals sold for resale will have the duty to provide compliance documents.In reality, all students will be required to provide compliance documents because few, if any, exhibitors know who their buyer will be when they initiate their project.

Creating an additional burden on resale animals will ultimately cause those buyers to walk away for fair auctions.We have been told by many of our ‘resale buyers’ that without a clear exemption in the regulations, they will no longer purchase swine projects.

Finally, the additional burden placed on our fair livestock show staff will be extraordinary.We rely on volunteers to assist with our livestock show due to a limited number of staff.The potential liability facing us from this regulation will force us to reevaluate our future livestock shows.

While we realize CDFA did not create this issue, we are confident it can be addressed by the addition clear exemption language in Article 4 of the regulation.

The Solution

The solution to this problem is for CDFA to grant an exemption in the regulations to the Prop 12 certification process for hogs sold by 4-H, FFA, Grange, and Independent youth at California Fairs and Exhibitions.

What to Do

Submit written public comment to California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Care Program. Written comment can be submitted by visiting the Animal Health and Food Safety Services Regulations webpage and following instructions to submit comment: Proposition 12, Farm Animal Confinement.

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Prop12.html

That is the link to the CDFA page that has a direct link to submit public comments and has lots of info including the most recent revisions to the law. My letter will be focused on exempting “producers” aka breeders that supply 4-H and FFA animals from this requirement. This is a chain of custody paperwork nightmare and you need to understand that it applies to breeding sows as well as “their immediate offspring.” That’s where it will be a real problem for kids exhibiting market animals at fair.

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