State Law Bans Cruelty to Animals. For over a century, the state has had laws banning the mistreatment of animals, including farm animals. For example, anyone who keeps an animal in an enclosed area is required to provide it with an exercise area and give it access to shelter, food, and water. Depending on the specific violation of these requirements, a person could be found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, either of which is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.
Proposition 2 (2008) generally prohibits California farmers from housing pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens in cages or crates that do not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs. Under Proposition 2, anyone who violates this law is guilty of a misdemeanor.
A state law passed after Proposition 2 made it illegal for businesses in California to sell eggs that they knew came from hens housed in ways that do not meet Proposition 2’s standards for egg-laying hens.
Proposition 12 Proposal
Creates New Standards for Housing Certain Farm Animals. This measure (Proposition 12) creates new minimum requirements on farmers to provide more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. These requirements, which apply to farm animals raised in California, would be phased in over the next several years. See the LAO Analysis for a full list of new requirements under this measure.
Bans the Sale of Products That Do Not Meet New Housing Standards. The measure also makes it illegal for businesses in California to knowingly sell eggs (including liquid eggs) or uncooked pork or veal that came from animals housed in ways that do not meet the measure’s requirements. This sales ban applies to products from animals raised in California or out-of-state. The sales ban generally does not apply to foods that have eggs, pork, or veal as an ingredient or topping (such as cookie dough and pizza). Violation of the housing requirements or sales ban would be a misdemeanor, and a violation of the sales ban could also be subject to a fine in civil court.
Source: LAO Analysis of Proposition 12