A sow nurses her litter of piglets in a clean pen/U.S. Department of Agriculture

Over the past 20 years, several states have banned the use of gestation crates, or metal confinements, for pregnant sows. But those states contribute very little to the nation’s overall pork supply. 

Combined, nine states contributed less than 3% to the nation’s pork supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ohio contributed about 3% on its own to the nation’s pork supply in 2022, but its law doesn’t go into effect until 2026.

The National Pork Producers Council has challenged California’s law. The council has argued that it’s too much of a burden for hog farmers and will restrict interstate commerce, given the number of consumers in California. 

The case is before the U.S. Supreme Court, and a decision is pending. Massachusetts’ law, which bans the sale of pork produced with gestation crates, is on hold pending the justices’ decision, according to PBS.

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Sky Chadde, Investigate MidwestAssistant Editor/Senior Reporter

Sky Chadde has covered the agriculture industry for Investigate Midwest since 2019 and spent much of 2020 focused on the crisis of COVID-19 in meatpacking plants, which included collecting and analyzing...

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