The latest challenge to California’s Proposition 12, the 2018 law that requires sows have enough space to stand up and turn around, has been dismissed.

The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation alleged producers nationwide will be forced to change their housing practices in violation of the Commerce Clause.

But U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan said Prop 12 “precludes the sale within California of products produced by hogs not raised in conformity with the requirements of Proposition 12, regardless of where the hogs are raised.” Therefore, he said, “It ... does not regulate wholly out-of-state conduct.”

The regulations for breeding pigs go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

When the suit was filed in December, NPPC Vice President Jen Sorenson argued the standards were arbitrary and “lack any scientific, technical or agricultural basis.” She said California represents just 15% of the U.S. pork market but is forcing other farmers to switch to alternative housing if they wish to sell their products in the state.

The Humane Society of the U.S., which intervened on the side of the state in the case, applauded the verdict. “This is yet another failed desperate attempt by those who profit off of animal abuse to maintain the status quo and repeal the will of the California people,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel of HSUS’s Animal Protection Litigation department.

In November, a federal court in California struck down a similar lawsuit by the North American Meat Institute.

For more news, go to