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Letters to the Editor: This is why California’s Proposition 12 is so unfair to pork producers nationwide

Pigs at a farm in Centerville, S.D., are ready to be shipped to a slaughterhouse on May 6, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Proposition 12 was flawed from the start. Its premise was that conventional hog farming practices are cruel. They are not. They are informed by veterinarians based on animal behavior and what’s needed to protect pigs and keep food safe. (“If bacon costs more next year, blame the pork producers, not the law treating pigs better,” editorial, Aug. 9)

Your editorial suggests that Proposition 12 is not a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause because it treats farmers in other states the same as pork producers in California. That’s laughable, since there is virtually no pork production in a state that consumes about 15% of U.S.-produced pork.

Furthermore, Proposition 12 stipulated that implementing regulations were required by Sept. 1, 2019. They materialized last May and still aren’t final. Compliance will cost U.S. hog farmers billions of dollars, so it seems only fair to give them clear guidance on rules that are unworkably vague right now. And how does our national pork production system respond when another state decides to establish different standards?

The U.S. pork production system is the envy of the world because it yields the best pork at the lowest cost while maintaining the highest standards of animal care and food safety. Proposition 12 undermines the food security of not only Californians, but our entire nation.

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Jen Sorenson, Urbandale, Iowa

The writer is president of the National Pork Producers Council.

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To the editor: Your editorial is disturbing. You say, “Even animals that end up as food deserve to be treated without cruelty before they are killed.”

This kind of thinking is the essence of everything that is insufficient, and just plain wrong, about “animal welfare.” Animals don’t just deserve to be treated better before they are killed; they deserve not to be killed at all.

We are talking about sentient beings — intelligent and with feelings, like your dog or cat — who do not want to die. They should not be slaughtered for the sake of your taste buds.

John Ashby, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: Before you order bacon or other pork products, consider that pigs are as smart or smarter than your 3-year-old child or your pet dog.

Forget about the price. Maybe you should eat something else.

Emily Loughran, Los Angeles


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