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Thirteen states file lawsuit against Massachusetts cage-free law

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With Indiana leading the pack, 13 states have filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts saying the new voter-approved cage-free law is not fair to their farmers’ market access to the state.

The law, which goes into effect in 2022, would require all pork, veal, and eggs farmed and sold in Massachusetts come from animals not confined in small cages.

The states’ attorney generals contend that the law violates the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, and would unlawfully force out-of-state farmers to change their production methods if they wanted to sell their meat and eggs in the state.

Other states that have joined the suit are: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Nine years after California changed their animal confinement standards, eggs are still pricey while the state’s production numbers keeps falling, according to a recent Purdue University study. Analysts say the laws’ effects on egg production and prices in California could inform other states considering similar legislation.

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