States Sue Mass. Over Sale Of Eggs, Meat From Confined Animals

Dec 13, 2017

Thirteen states are suing Massachusetts over a voter-approved law banning the sale of eggs or meat from some animals kept in small cages.

The states, led by Indiana, say the law is not fair to many of their farmers, who could be blocked from the Massachusetts market starting in 2022.

Diane Sullivan of Medford, Massachusetts, led the fight against the ballot question last year.

“As we said all along in the campaign, this is a violation of the interstate Commerce Clause,” Sullivan told NEPR. “I'm very grateful to those 13 states -- that unfortunately had to sue Massachusetts -- but very grateful that they are taking the position that they are, looking for the United States Supreme Court to rule on this issue.” 

Paul Shapiro dismisses the lawsuit as a “legal Hail Mary.” He’s with the Humane Society of the United States.

“Massachusetts has the right to protect its own citizens from inhumane and unsafe substandard products,” Shapiro said. “Seventy-eight percent of Massachusetts voters wanted this measure to take effect. And we suspect that the courts are going to agree that they have the right to do that.”

Attorney General Maura Healey will represent Massachusetts against the lawsuit. Her office had no immediate comment.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Humane Society of America. It should have said Human Society of the United States.