THE ISSUE: A proposal in Congress would prohibit states from taxing or regulating out-of-state businesses.
THE IMPACT: Some analysts say the bill could affect parts of an approved 2016 Massachusetts ballot question, which bans the sale of pork, veal and eggs produced from animals that were confined in certain ways.
While the 2016 Massachusetts law on farm animal confinement isn’t due to take effect for several more years, some industry analysts say a new federal bill could impact its rollout.
“Generally speaking, our position is that regulation without representation should not be allowed,” said Jim Monroe, a spokesman for the Iowa-based National Pork Producers Council, which contributed funding to oppose the Massachusetts ballot initiative last year.
Last fall, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot question that banned the use of small enclosures for calves, pigs and egg-laying hens. Although the law as written affects just one Massachusetts farm, its impact on large out-of-state farms could be significant. Unlike farm animal welfare laws passed in several other states, the Massachusetts law bans the sale of pork, veal and eggs produced in a way that doesn’t comply with the state law, even if they came from farms located in other states.
The law requires that the animals be able to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs.
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, introduced a bill in Congress in June that would bar states from taxing or regulating out-of-state businesses. Under the legislation, which was referred on July 19 to the House Judiciary…
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