BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 594
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          Date of Hearing:   May 9, 2007

                          ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
                                 Nicole Parra, Chair
                     AB 594 (Dymally) - As Amended:  May 2, 2007
           
          SUBJECT  :  Pigs: tethering and confinement.

           SUMMARY  :   Establishes definitions for "Confinement of Pigs  
          During Pregnancy" and new housing requirements for pregnant pigs  
          and creates a new crime, effective July 1, 2011.  Specifically,  
           this bill  :  

          1)Provides the following definitions:

             a)   "Farm" means the land, building, support facilities, and  
               other equipment that is wholly or partially used for the  
               production of animals for food or fiber; and,

             b)   "Pigs" means any animal of the porcine species; and,

             c)   "Turning around freely" means having the ability to turn  
               around in a complete circle without (1) any impediment,  
               including a tether; or (2) in the case of an enclosure,  
               (including what is commonly described as a "gestation  
               crate" or "gestation stall") without touching any side of  
               the enclosure; and,

             d)   "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, joint  
               venture, association, limited liability company,  
               corporation, estate, trust, receiver or syndicate.

          2)Prohibits any "person", except as provided by item 3) below,  
            to tether or confine any pregnant pig, or on a farm, for the  
            majority of any day in a manner that prevents the animal from  
            lying down and fully extending its limbs or "turning around  
            freely".

          3)Permits a "person" to tether or confine a pig in the manner  
            prohibited in item 2) above, during the following periods:

             a)   Seven days prior to a pig's expected date of giving  
               birth; and,

             b)   Lawful scientific or agricultural research; and,








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             c)   Examination, testing, individual temporary treatment, or  
               veterinary purposes; and,

             d)   Lawful transport; and,

             e)   Lawful rodeo exhibitions, state or county fair  
               exhibitions, and 4-H programs; and,
             
             f)   Killing of a pig in accordance with provisions of  
               Chapter 6 of Division 9 of the Food and Agriculture Code  
               (FAC), relating to humane methods of slaughter or other  
               applicable laws and regulations.

          4)Permits a citation to be issued by a peace officer, officer of  
            a humane society or officer of an animal control or animal  
            regulation department of a public agency for violation of  
            these provisions.

          5)Creates a misdemeanor for violation of these provisions  
            punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 per violation, and  
            up to $1,000 per day that the violation continues, or both, or  
            by imprisonment in county jail not to exceed 90 days.  Any  
            penalties imposed pursuant herewith, shall be payable to the  
            local agency initiating the enforcement proceedings, to offset  
            the cost to the agency's related court proceedings.

          6)Violators of these provisions may be prosecuted by a county  
            district attorney in which the violation occurred or by a city  
            attorney of the city the violation occurred.

          7)States that these provisions will take effect on July 1, 2011.  
             States that this operative date expresses the legislative  
            intent to allow a period of time for a person conducting such  
            practices to modify their business practices to these  
            provisions.

          8)Provides a legislative mandate exemption, due to a new crime  
            being created, that no reimbursement is required.

           EXISTING LAW  describes various crimes and penalties for cruelty,  
          malicious and intentional maiming, mutilating, torturing or  
          wounding living animals (Penal Code (PC) 597); prohibits  
          overdriving, overworking, and depriving an animal, if necessary,  
          sustenance, drink, or shelter (PC 537b); punishment for such  








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          crimes range from imprisonment for up to one year in a county or  
          state jail, or a fine not to exceed $20,000, or both,  
          imprisonment and a fine; describes how to move nonabulatory  
          cattle, swine, sheep, or goats at stockyard, auction, or  
          slaughterhouse, or requires them to be immediately and humanely  
          euthanized or removed from the premises (PC 599f).

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown.  Legislative Counsel has keyed this  
          bill non-fiscal.

           COMMENTS  :  The husbandry practices for all livestock and poultry  
          operations have changed significantly over the last century due  
          to research and better scientific understanding of the specific  
          species.  Further, the economics of such operations is critical  
          to their success.  Any operator that can produce one more pound  
          or one more offspring or extend the productive life of an animal  
          could benefit, and only healthy animals typically could do that.

          This bill deals with only pregnant pigs, known as gilts or  
          female pigs that have not had a litter, and sows or female pigs  
          that have had a previous litter, and gestation crates or stalls  
          which are typically a 2 foot wide and 7 foot long metal pen.   
          This does not deal with farrowing pens which are typically used  
          for a gilt or sow to give birth, which is similar in shape and  
          size but has expanded sides to permit the piglets to have space  
          to escape a sow lying down and not be crushed by her.

          AB 594, as proposed, adds to the Health and Safety Code rather  
          than the Food and Agriculture Code that typically deals with  
          animal laws.  Current animal cruelty laws are located in the  
          state's Penal Code.  Further, this bill will create a precedent  
          for access to a pig facility by a county or city humane officer  
          or animal control officer.  All animal facilities operate with a  
          high degree of bio-security to prevent contamination or the  
          spread of disease.  AB 594 may jeopardize that security.

          The Sponsors, the Humane Society of the United States, state  
          that "animals raised for food have no [husbandry practices]  
          regulation [or statute] and their minimal humane standards are  
          not addressed."  According to information provided to the  
          committee by the sponsors, pigs form complex social units and  
          learn for one another in ways previously observed exclusively  
          among primates and can develop quite sophisticated social  
          competitive behavior, similar to that seen in primate species.   
          Pigs have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated, even  








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          more than dogs and certainly more than most three year-olds, as  
          taken from comments by Dr. Donald Broom of Cambridge University  
          Veterinary School.  It has also been observed that pigs are  
          capable of abstract representation, are able to remember things  
          and can develop behaviors by trial and error, or be taught  
          different behaviors that can be recalled after three years.    

          The sponsors campaign nation-wide for animal welfare and have  
          been successful in banning gestation crates in both Arizona  
          (2006) and Florida (2002), through initiatives.  Currently, the  
          Oregon Legislature, among others states, is considering  
          legislation similar to AB 594.  Additionally, there have been  
          several large users of various animal products that have begun  
          to require certain animal husbandry practices from their  
          providers.  The largest pork producers in the nation are located  
          in Virginia, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas,  
          Arkansas and Nebraska.  The largest pork producer, Smithfield  
          Foods, Inc., announced in January 2007 that they will phase out  
          confinement in gestation crates over the next decade, or by  
          2017.

          According to the National Pork Board's web site:

          There are many different acceptable housing types in use for  
          housing gestating sows in today's U.S. pork industry.  These  
          housing types usually fit in one of two categories, individual  
          housing or group housing.

          The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the  
          American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) have reviewed  
          existing scientific literature on gestational sow housing and  
          have published position statements that concluded that both  
          types of housing types have advantages and disadvantages.

          The individual housing category includes the individual stall  
          system. In this system, sows are housed in a structure large  
          enough for one sow. There are variations in stall designs. Some  
          of the advantages of individual housing include:
                 minimizing aggression and injury among sows
                 reducing competition for resources (food and water)
                 allowing individual feeding 
                 assisting in the management of sow's body condition so  
               they not become too thin or too fat 
                 providing for the safety of the worker 









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          Some of the disadvantages of individual housing include:
                 restriction of a sow's movement and exercise 
                 restricts a sow's ability to perform foraging behaviors 
                 limiting a sow's social interaction 

          In the other housing category, sows are housed in groups. Group  
          sizes may range from five sows per pen up to more than 100 sows  
          per pen.  Free access stalls, trickle feeding, electronic sow  
          feeding stations and deep bedded systems are just a few of the  
          many different variations in group housing systems in use. Some  
          of the advantages of group housing include:
                 freedom of movement and exercise 
                 social interaction 

          Some of the potential disadvantages of group housing include:
                 aggression and injury 
                 uneven body conditions 
                 inability to forage if no manipulable materials are  
               present  

          There are many factors that contribute to the success of a  
          particular type of housing system.  Studies have concluded the  
          success of housing systems may be dependent in great measure to  
          the caretaker's husbandry skills. 

          The AVMA and AASV have concluded that regardless of the type of  
          housing system in use, the system should:
                 minimize aggression and competition among sows 
                 protect sows from detrimental effects associated with  
               environmental extremes, particularly temperature extremes 
                 reduce exposure to hazards that result in injuries,  
               pain, or disease 
                 provide every animal with daily access to appropriate  
               food and water 
                 facilitate observation of individual sow appetite,  
               respiratory rate, urination and defecation, and  
               reproductive status by caregivers 
                 allow sows to express most normal patterns of behavior 

          The official statement of the National Pork Board statement on  
          sow gestation housing:

          "The National Pork Board builds its animal care and well-being  
          programs on this foundation:  What is best for the pig?  The  
          board also relies on the best scientific research available, and  








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          the best scientific research now available indicates there are  
          several types of production systems that can be good for pigs.   
          Those systems include open pens, gestation stalls and open  
          pastures.

          "Regardless of the system, what really matters is the individual  
          care given to each pig." 

          "Through the Pork Checkoff, the National Pork Board provides  
          educational programs and materials that focus on how producers  
          can best assure the well-being of their pigs.  These programs  
          offer methods that help producers take an objective look at each  
          animal's well-being, independent of the size of operation or the  
          specific type of housing.  Producers are then able to decide for  
          themselves the type of production system that is best for their  
          animals, and for them given their resources and markets."

          The committee may wish to consider the following as amendments  
          to the bill:
             a)   Limiting the definition of a farm to those operations  
               dealing with pregnant pigs?
             b)   Changing the reference of "person" to "entity" and  
               related conforming changes?
             c)   Including any youth projects, including but not limited  
               to, 4H and Future Farmers Association, as exempt from these  
               provisions?
             d)   Is the effective date of four years or 2011 appropriate?  
                The largest pork producer has stated that they are taking  
               a decade to phase out of this practice.
             e)   Change from Health and Safety Code to Food and  
               Agriculture Code?

           Related legislation  :
          AB 732 (Hancock) Crime: Cruelty to calves raised for veal,  
          2003-04 legislative session.  This bill, as it was to be amended  
          in committee, created a crime for confining or tethering a calf  
          raised for veal in an enclosure on a farm, as defined, or  
          feeding a calf raised for veal a type of diet causing anemia or  
          impairing the development of the calf's rumen system.  The bill  
          was pulled from the committee hearing at the author's request  
          and was held by the committee.

          SB 1520 (Burton) Force feed birds.  This bill, commencing July  
          1, 2012, prohibits a person from force feeding a bird for the  
          purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond normal size,   








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          prohibits a product from being sold in California if it is the  
          result of force feeding of a bird. Chapter 904, Statutes of  
          2004.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           

          Humane Society of the United States
          Action for Animals
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  
               AFL-CIO
          Animal Legal Defense Fund
          Animal Protection Institute 
          Animal Protection of New Mexico
          Animal Switchboard
          Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights
          California Animal Association
          California Federation for Animal Legislation
          City of San Bernardino Animal Control
          East Bay Animal Advocates
          Humane Society of Utah 
          Marin Humane Society 
          National City Animal Control
          Niman Ranch
          North County Humane Society
          Pets Lifeline, Inc.
          Second Chance Animal Society
          Wyoming Advocates for Animals
          12 individual letters

           Opposition 
           

          Alliance of Western Milk Producers
          California Cattlemen's Association
          California Grain and Feed Association
          California Farm Bureau
          California Pork Producers Association
          California Poultry Federation
          Demler Enterprises
          Farmer John Egg Co.
          Gemperle Enterprises
          Hohberg Poultry Ranches








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          JS West and Companies
          Norco Ranch
          SKS Enterprises, Inc.
          Sunrise Farms
          Pacific Egg and Poultry Association
          United Egg Producers
          Western United Dairymen
          Several hundred individual letters

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jim Collin / AGRI. / (916) 319-2084