Sow Housing

NPPC’s Position

NPPC supports the right of pork producers to use sow housing that is best for the well-being of their animals and their operation.


NPPC agrees with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the American Veterinary Medical Association that individual and group pens are appropriate for housing pregnant sows.

Read how CA Proposition 12 relates to this


Since the early 2000s, animal rights groups have attacked the production methods of U.S. pork producers by championing state ballot initiatives and legislation that seek to ban certain production practices. As a result, ten states have banned production practices widely used throughout the pork industry. California and Massachusetts banned production practices and prohibited the sale of pork produced using certain production methods, even when produced outside those states.

A state law or regulation that has the effect of prohibiting production practices in other states is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause and is illegal. NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation have challenged the California law in the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear the case soon.

Critical to the U.S. pork industry’s success is a producer’s ability to choose the production method that improves the health and well-being of pigs, reduces disease exposure, maximizes productivity, and increases sustainability. Recent state prohibitions on scientifically-sound production methods are jeopardizing that freedom and threatening the livelihood of U.S. pork producers. These state mandates increase production costs and raise food prices while reducing consumer choices.

Fast Facts

$1.9 billion–$3.2 billion and more

is the cost needed to convert sow barns from gestation pens to group pens, according to a University of Minnesota study.

$5 billion

is the cost to consumers of laws prohibiting certain pork production practices.

Related Resources

NPPC, Farm Bureau File Prop. 12 Brief With Supreme Court

NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) today filed their initial brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in their…