Background on Prop 12

California statute

In 2018, California voters authorized the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative (Prop 12), which amended sections 25990 – 25994 of the California Well being and Security Code to create wide-reaching confinement necessities for sure food-producing animals when merchandise of these animals are offered in California.[2]  

Amongst different specifics, Prop 12 identifies “coated animals” to incorporate veal calves, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens stored on farms, and requires that coated animals be housed in confinement methods that adjust to particular requirements for freedom of motion, cage-free design, and minimal flooring house.

Prop 12 prohibits a farm proprietor or operator from knowingly inflicting any coated animal to be confined in a merciless method, and prohibits a enterprise proprietor or operator from knowingly participating within the sale inside the state of shell eggs, liquid eggs, entire pork meat, or entire veal meat from animals housed in a merciless method.

California rules

Prop 12 specifies that the CDFA and the California Division of Public Well being (CDPH) should collectively promulgate Prop 12 rules. 

The legislation required that the rules be issued by 1 September 2019. Nonetheless, since 2018, the CDFA/CDPH have launched two units of preproposal draft rules and issued requests for data to assist develop the regulatory framework.  

Now, the CDFA has issued proposed rules to implement Prop 12. The proposed rules would apply Prop 12’s restrictions to gross sales in California of coated eggs, liquid egg merchandise, pork, and veal, though the restrictions wouldn’t apply to retail shops, eating places, and a few additional processors.  The proposed rules would additionally create a registration requirement for distributors distributing a coated product into California and certification requirement for producers elevating coated food-producing animals that will likely be used to provide coated meals in California. Key high-level take-aways on the proposed rules are beneath.[3

Key definitions and coated gross sales below the proposed rules

The proposed rules would prohibit egg producers/distributors, veal producers/distributors, and pork producers/distributor[4] from knowingly promoting or contract to promoting inside the state a coated product for human consumption if the coated product was not derived from an animal raised in accordance with Prop 12’s animal elevating requirements.[5]  

Coated merchandise

The next merchandise are coated below the regulation (i.e., are “coated merchandise”):[6]

  • Eggs of their shell type, which is outlined as an egg as developed, proportioned, and formed within the shell by an egg-laying hen, whether or not it’s within the shell, uncooked, pasteurized within the shell, handled within the shell, hardboiled, or in any other case cooked in entire type, peeled, co-packaged with different meals, or subsequently offered sliced, chopped or in any other case reduce.
  • Liquid eggs, which is outlined as eggs of an egg-laying hen damaged from the shells, meant for human meals, with the yolks and whites of their pure proportions, or with the yolks and whites separated, blended, or blended and strained, whether or not it’s uncooked or pasteurized, co-packaged with different meals, or offered frozen, dried, freeze-dried, or as a cooked patty, puck, or different cooked type, and contains the entire following:
    • liquid eggs, dried eggs, frozen eggs, egg whites, frozen egg whites, egg yolks, dried egg yolks, and frozen egg yolks (as described by the related part in Title 21 of the CFR);
    • any combination, no matter proportions, of two or extra of the merchandise specified on this subsection;
    • any product, or combination of merchandise, specified on this subsection to which has been added not more than sugar, salt, water, seasoning, coloring, flavoring, preservatives, stabilizers, or different related meals components;[7
    • and any product represented to the client as, or bearing the assertion of identification of, liquid eggs, or any of the merchandise specified on this subsection on the product label.
  • Complete veal meat, which is outlined as any raw reduce of veal, together with chop, ribs, riblet, loin, shank, leg, roast, brisket, steak, sirloin, or cutlet, that’s comprised completely of veal meat, aside from seasoning, curing brokers, coloring, flavoring, preservatives, and related meat components.
  • Complete pork meat, which is outlined as any raw reduce of pork, together with bacon, ham, chop, ribs, riblet, loin, shank, leg, roast, brisket, steak, sirloin, or cutlet, that’s comprised completely of pork meat, aside from seasoning, curing brokers, coloring, flavoring, preservatives, and related meat components.
Coated entities

The rules would apply to “producers” and “distributors” of coated merchandise, each defined beneath. The rules would prohibit a producer or distributor of a coated product from promoting or contracting to promote a coated product within the state of California except the coated product was from an animal raised in compliance with Prop 12. Furthermore, “distributors” could be required to register with the state, and “producers” must be licensed. 

“Producers” and “Distributors” are outlined as follows:

  • Producers are individuals engaged within the enterprise of manufacturing eggs from domesticated chickens, turkeys, geese, geese, or guineafowl; holding, confining, and/or housing a calf of the bovine species, to be slaughtered at greater than 21 days of age or greater than 150 kilos, for the aim of manufacturing the human meals product described, marketed, represented, recognized, or labeled as veal; or holding, sustaining, confining and/or housing a feminine pig of the porcine species that’s six (6) months of age or older, or is pregnant, for the aim of economic breeding to provide pork meat for human meals.
  • Distributors are individuals or amenities engaged within the enterprise of economic gross sales or distribution of shell eggs or liquid eggs (as an egg producer or in any other case), entire veal meat (as a veal producer or in any other case), or entire pork meat (as a pork producer or in any other case) to an finish person in California. This definition doesn’t apply to an individual or facility that solely receives shell eggs or liquid eggs, entire veal meat, or entire pork meat as an end-user.
  • Finish-user (which is integrated into the definition of a “distributor”) means any of the next:
    • A client;
    • A retailer that’s not a producer and solely conducts industrial gross sales on to a client, with none additional distribution, of product that was bought or obtained from a distributor;
    • A meals processing facility or cottage meals operation that receives coated product solely to be used as an ingredient to fabricate a mixture meals product that doesn’t meet the product definitions; or
    • A restaurant, meals facility, or different enterprise that solely cooks and serves pork meat, and/or serves solely ready-to-eat pork meat, to clients, patrons or company for functions of consumption.

Registration, auditing, and certification below the proposed rules

To assist preserve oversight and guarantee compliance, the proposed rules create a registration, auditing, and certification system that might observe and confirm distributors and producers are complying with the proposed necessities.


Typically, distributors engaged within the industrial sale[8] of coated merchandise inside, or into, California could be required to acquire and maintain a sound registration with the CFDA. Registration could be required for every facility location from which merchandise could be offered, distributed, or in any other case provided to the situation of an end-user, and registrations wouldn’t transferable.

Auditing and required certification

Starting 1 January 2023, any individual engaged in enterprise in California as a producer, or any out-of-state producer that’s holding, sustaining, confining, and/or housing an egg-laying hen, calves, or breeding pig for functions of manufacturing liquid or shell eggs, entire veal meat, or entire pork meat, from the egg-laying hen, calves, or breeding pig (or its speedy offspring), for human meals use in California, could be required to carry a sound certification as an authorized operation.[9] The necessities for certification are fairly prolonged and proscriptive.

Furthermore, the rules would require that retailers and meals processing amenities which are “finish customers” preserve sure data documenting the certifications for the coated merchandise they obtain. 

Penalties and enforcement

Individuals violating Prop 12 provisions are responsible of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, they are often fined as much as US$1,000 and imprisoned within the county jail for as much as 180 days (or each).

The proposed rules present that enforcement officers could seize and maintain any product which they’ve affordable suspicion to consider is in violation of the statute or rules. “Affordable suspicion” is just not outlined within the proposed rules, which means that enforcement officers might have broad discretion when figuring out whether or not an entity is in compliance.

Subsequent steps   

The CDFA is accepting feedback on the proposed rules till 12 July 2021. 



1    CDFA, Animal Well being and Meals Security Providers, Proposed Laws, Animal Confinement (Could 28, 2021),

2    See Cal. Well being & Security Code §§ 25990 et. seq.

3    Be aware, the proposed rules are fairly detailed and nuanced in scope. The important thing take-aways highlighted on this memorandum are meant to supply solely an summary of the necessities. 

4    The proposed rules even have separate provisions for eggs, pork, and veal, however we current them collectively as a result of they’re largely parallel.  

5    Prop 12 imposes numerous necessities associated to animal confinement, together with minimal enclosure measurement and enrichments, which range by animal species.    

6    Be aware, there are numerous exceptions for many of those definitions.

7    “Seasoning” is synonymous with the time period “spice” and means any fragrant vegetable substance in the entire, damaged, diced, or floor type, whose major operate in meals is seasoning reasonably than dietary and from which no portion of any risky oil or different flavoring precept has been eliminated.  “Flavoring” for functions of part 25991(l) of the Well being and Security Code and this Article means any substance, whether or not synthetic or pure, the operate of which is to impart taste reasonably than vitamin.

8    “Business sale” means to promote, provide on the market, expose on the market, possess on the market, trade, barter, commerce, switch possession, or in any other case distribute in California commerce together with, however not restricted to, transactions by a retailer with a client and digital transactions made utilizing the web.

9    “Certification or certify” means a willpower made by a certifying agent {that a} manufacturing or distribution operation is in compliance with Prop 12 and implementing rules, which is documented by a certificates of California farm animal confinement compliance.


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