October 18, 2019

Anti-Animal Welfare King Amendment Removed from Farm Bill

The King Amendment, proposed by Representative Steve King (R-IA), which would have undercut animal welfare states and food safety laws, has been removed from the Farm Bill. The Humane Society of the United States supports this action.

CongressThe Humane Society Fact Sheet on this amendment details their opposition. HSUS states that the amendment was an “unprecedented assault on historic power of states to protect the health and welfare of their own citizens.” It would have nullified state laws, forcing officials to authorize the sale and consumption of “any agricultural product”, no matter how environmentally destructive or unsafe. The King Amendment violated the Tenth Amendment’s guarantee that states’ sovereign rights cannot be abridged by Congress. Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce is different from stripping states of their regulation rights.

The King Amendment would have stripped California’s right to ban extreme confinement cages and crates for laying hens, pigs, and veal calves. It would have nullified state laws in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Rhode Island dealing with intensive confinement of farm animals. And it would have nullified Vermont’s ban on BPA in baby food containers, Maryland’s ban on arsenic in poultry feed, California’s Proposition 65, which required the state to publish a list of chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects.

The Amendment would also have nullified Iowa’s requirement of labeling of artificial sweeteners, bans on use of dangerous pesticides on crops, and state pollution standards. It also would have removed bans on horse slaughter in several states, would also have undone laws on the sale of dogs and cats as food.

The Farm Bill was passed by the house today, on a 251-166 vote. It now goes to the Senate.


  1. Cathy Renardson says

    Please protect all of these innocent animals from abuse. If a person neglects or abuses an animals it should be treated as if they did it to a child. The treatment of animals is horrible . They need laws to protect animals . These laws need to be enforced.
    Thank you!

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