The dangerous King Amendment has been defeated.
What do tobacco age limits, wild rice labeling, and states' rights to regulate animal welfare have in common? They would have all been impacted by the dangerous King Amendment, had it been included in the 2018 Farm Bill. As you may recall, earlier this year, The Humane League, and other animal protection organizations, mobilized activists to ensure the Protect Interstate Commerce Act ("PICA")—also known as the King Amendment, proposed by Representative Steve King (R-Iowa)—would not be included in the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. And our shared hard work paid off!
On December 11, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill, without the King Amendment included. On the following day, it was passed by the House. It's now on its way to the President's desk for signature. The Farm Bill is an omnibus bill, renewable every five years, that provides the foundational support for agricultural and food policy in the United States. This legislation dictates a wide variety of programs including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), also known as food stamps, farm subsidies, farmers markets, conservation programs, and even the legalization of hemp production.
Had it made its way into the final Farm Bill, the King Amendment would have undermined states' ability to regulate animal welfare and could have crushed the massive progress made towards ending extreme confinement of farm animals in states with such regulations. Voters in states like Massachusetts and California, who approved ballot measures to ban animal products raised in gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages, would have had their voices suppressed due to the inclusion of the amendment. But thanks to dedicated activists across the country, their voices can now be heard.
Thank you to all of our supporters and volunteers who took action to defeat the King Amendment! The exclusion of the King Amendment in the 2018 Farm Bill is a big win for animals, and supports our relentless work to end the abuse of animals raised for food.