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This State May Soon Run Out of Bacon, New Reports Say

Thanks to a change in animal welfare regulations.

If you live in California and love a good, loaded breakfast plate, you may soon be sorely disappointed. According to recent reports, the Golden State could run out of bacon in a matter of months, thanks to a change in local animal welfare laws.

According to NPR, California will start enforcing a proposition that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens, and veal calves, which was approved by voters in 2018. But while egg and veal producers will likely be able to meet the new standards, the rules for pig producers will make as much as 96% of them noncompliant.

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The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative will make it so that out-of-state producers have to comply with California's new rules, which establish minimum space requirements for raising the animals (the "stand-up-turn-around requirements"), if they want to sell their pork products in the state. This could make California lose almost all of its pork supply starting on January 1, 2022.

In-state production in California could cover only about a fifth of the state's monthly pork demand, while the majority of the product comes from farmers in other states, like Iowa. If that supply is cut off due to noncompliance, the prices of pork and bacon will likely rise while supplies will be difficult to come by.

Restaurateurs in California are fearing the change. "We are very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases," Matt Sutton, the public policy director for the California Restaurant Association, told AP.

The National Pork Producers Council has attempted to challenge the law in court but was unsuccessful. The group is now asking for federal aid in retrofitting pig facilities around the nation to meet the new standards, while the producers still wait for California to issue formal regulations on the new requirements.

However, some reports state the big pork crisis of 2022 has been blown out of proportion, and that pork is simply going to get pricier—about 60% to be exact—rather than disappearing altogether from the state.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more
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