Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s non-carcass merit premium for hogs raised in compliance with animal confinement legislation has been added to the National Weekly Direct Swine Non-Carcass Merit Premium report.
“This addition will give pork industry stakeholders the information necessary to make informed production and marketing decisions relating to ACL-compliant hogs,” says the USDA agency.
In recent years, some states have passed laws restricting the use of gestation crates in hog production. In some cases, these laws also restrict the sale of animal products originating from any non-compliant operation, including from states where such bans are not in place.
Among these is California’s Proposition 12, Farm Animal Confinement Initiative, which sets conditions on the sale of pork meat in California regardless of where it was produced and includes the requirement that all products must be from pigs born to a sow housed in at least 24 square feet of space.
Under the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Program, USDA currently publishes non-carcass merit premiums paid for ACL-compliant hogs on the Non-Carcass Merit Premium report.
These premiums are found under the “Other” category with other non-carcass characteristics such as antibiotic-free. The number of ACL-compliant merit premiums currently being submitted under LMR is sufficient for this information to be published under a separate category: Animal Confinement Legislation.
The National Pork Producers Council, with members throughout the pork supply chain, said it “advocated for and remained engaged with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service throughout the process.”