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U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE RULES PORTIONS OF MASSACHUSETTS' PORK PRODUCTION LIMIT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Source: WWLP TV

BOSTON - A U.S. District judge has concluded that a portion of the recent Massachusetts law that bans the sale of pork, if a pig is held in a confined space, is unconstitutional. However, the judge says that part of the law can be severed to allow for the rest of the law to stay in effect for now.

U.S. District Judge William Young in Boston made the ruling last week, following a lawsuit by the pork producer Triumph Foods and other pig farmers from out-of-state that believed the pork law violated the U.S. Constitution.

The law called the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, was approved by voters in 2016 as a ballot question that banned the sale of eggs, veal and pork from animals held in conditions deemed cruel. The law looked to prevent animal cruelty by getting rid of extreme methods of farm animal confinement.

The law states it would be unlawful "for a farm owner or operator within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to knowingly cause any covered animal to be confined in a cruel manner." This includes any pens that prevent a breeding animal from lying down, standing up, or fully extending their limbs. The Act also makes it unlawful for a business owner to sell products from farms that knowingly confine animals in a cruel manner.

The portion of the law being argued in the lawsuit was an exemption that allowed the sale of pork from federally inspected slaughterhouses in Massachusetts that do not meet the law's requirements as long as the buyers take possession of the pork while on their premises. Triumph Foods claimed this part of the law was unconstitutional because it discriminated against the nearly 100 out-of-state federally inspected slaughterhouses. Purchasers of pork would likely not purchase their product because they would be required to travel to their locations out-of-state.


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