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Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect

In this undated photo provided by Dwight Mogler shows some breeding eligible gilts (young...
In this undated photo provided by Dwight Mogler shows some breeding eligible gilts (young breeding females), on his farm in Alvord, Iowa. At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. In Iowa, which raises about one-third of the nation's hogs, farmer Dwight Mogler estimates the changes would cost him $3 million and allow room for 250 pigs in a space that now holds 300. (Janae Metzger/Pig Hill Farms via AP)(Janae Metzger | AP)
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 7:52 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A California law taking effect Jan. 1 could make pork harder to find and more expensive.

Voters in 2018 overwhelmingly approved the law, which requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules.

Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose much of its pork supply.

Groups have long been pushing for more humane treatment of farm animals but the California rules could be a rare case of consumers clearly paying a price for their beliefs.

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