Animal Law Review


Miranda Groh

First Page



Although farmed animal advocates have achieved some protection for animals through state and local laws, Congress’s constitutional authority to preempt state law and regulate interstate commerce poses a significant threat to those achievements. Additionally, the practical constraints of the United States’ interconnected food system suggest that national, uniform standards are more desirable than a state-by-state, piecemeal approach to animal welfare. Despite the potential benefits of a state-by-state approach and some obstacles faced at the federal level, this Article argues that long-lasting legal protections for farmed animals should ultimately come from Congress, and that animal advocates should concentrate their efforts there. This is especially true pending the Supreme Court’s decision in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, where the Court will rule on the validity of California’s Proposition 12, which bans in-state sales of certain products made from animals who were cruelly confined.



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