H. R. 7004
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 9, 2022
Ms. Escobar (for herself and Ms. Mace) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture
To amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the confinement of pregnant pigs, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Pigs in Gestation Stalls Act of 2022 or the
PIGS Act of 2022.
Congress makes the following findings:
Intensive confinement of pigs is a significant animal welfare issue, causing physical problems and psychological anguish for the animals.
Dozens of major food retailers and more than 10 states have taken action to phase out the use of intensive confinement for pigs, reflecting the will and concerns of the public.
At least two States have adopted policies to forbid the sale of pork from factory farms that use gestation crates, with that policy predicated on human health and animal welfare concerns.
As more consumers turn away from purchasing pork products derived from intensive confinement practices, the pork industry will be better aligned with its customers by ending these unpopular and inhumane housing methods.
Prohibition on confining breeding pigs
The Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Prohibition on confining breeding pigs
It shall be unlawful for a person to cause any breeding pig to be confined in—
such a manner that prevents the pig from lying down, standing up, or turning around—
in a complete circle without any impediment, including a tether; and
without touching the side of an enclosure or another animal; and
beginning on December 31, 2022, a space with less than 24 square feet of usable floorspace per pig, as calculated under paragraph (3).
The Secretary shall not, in applying paragraph (1), consider a breeding pig to be confined in a cruel manner if such confinement occurs during—
examination, testing, treatment, or an operation conducted for veterinary purposes, but only if performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian;
the five-day period before the pig’s expected date of farrowing; and
slaughter conducted in accordance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.).
Calculation of usable floorspace
For purposes of paragraph (1)(B), the total square footage of floorspace provided to each breeding pig in an enclosure shall be determined by dividing—
the total square footage of floorspace provided to all the animals in such enclosure; by
the number of animals in that enclosure.
For the purpose of administering and enforcing this section, the authorities provided under sections 10414 and 10415 of the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8313 and 8314) shall apply to this section in a similar manner as those sections apply to the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.). Any person that violates the prohibition under subsection (a) shall be subject to penalties provided in such section 10414.
Nothing in this section preempts any State or local laws, regulations, orders, or other requirements with respect to animal welfare that are identical to or are in addition to the requirements of this section.
Rule of construction
Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the authority of the Secretary under this Act or another Federal law to protect animal welfare.
If this section is held unconstitutional as to some provisions or circumstances, it shall remain in force as to the remaining provisions and other circumstances.
The Secretary shall establish a program under which the Secretary will provide financial assistance to pig producers to assist such producers in complying with the requirements of this section.
The Secretary shall allocate funds made available under paragraph (3) among pig producers in a manner that prioritizes independent pig producers.
The Secretary shall amend the order in effect as of the date of the enactment of this section under section 1616(c) of the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 4805(c)), to direct the National Pork Board, notwithstanding section 1620(c) of such Act (7 U.S.C. 4809(c)), to set aside not less than $10,000,000 of the funds collected from assessments made under such Act for the first fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this section and the following fiscal year to provide assistance to pig producers, as described in paragraph (1).
In this section:
The term breeding pig means any female pig that is—
kept for the purpose of commercial breeding who is six months of age or older; or
The term enclosure means any cage, crate or other enclosure in which a pig is kept, including, a gestation crate.
The term pig means any animal of the porcine species.
The term independent pig producer means a pig producer who owns their own pigs and is not contracted to raise pigs that belong to another entity.
The amendment made by this section shall apply beginning on the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.