Veterinary Help Needed to Stop King Amendment to Federal Farm Bill
Provision Would Compromise State and Local Animal Protections

August 18, 2013

Matthew Prescott/The HSUS

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision in its Farm Bill (Sec. 11312 of H.R. 2642) – offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and known as "the King Amendment" – that aims to nullify many state laws protecting the health and welfare of farm animals and other species. We encourage all veterinary professionals to join us in working to ensure that neither this extreme provision, nor any similar one, is included in any final House-Senate package.

The King Amendment is sweeping in its attempt to trump most state and local laws pertaining to the manufacture or production of agricultural products. It tries to compel states to authorize the local sale and consumption of any agricultural product—no matter how dangerous, unethical, or environmentally destructive. It requires that if any state tolerates the production or sale of a particular agricultural product, the other 49 states must concur. Thus, it essentially forces states to allow commerce in products they may have already banned.

We are particularly disturbed by the groundbreaking negative impact the King Amendment would have in superseding state animal protection laws, which have been passed by many concerned humane electorates. These laws include restricting the inhumane and extreme confinement of animals on factory farms, the practice of cutting off sharks’ fins and throwing the animals back into the water to die, and the sale of dog and cat meat. In addition to threatening animal welfare laws, this provision would also imperil sustainable agriculture, consumer protection, health, environmental, safety and labor laws at the state level.

On behalf of HSVMA, Barry Kellogg, VMD submitted an organizational opposition letter detailing our criticism of the amendment.

Please contact your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators today! Tell them that, as a constituent and a veterinary professional expert in the areas of animal health and welfare, it is extremely important to you that the animal protection laws approved by citizens across the country should be respected and remain in force. Ask your legislators for their strong swift action in opposing inclusion of the King Amendment – or any provision like it – in final House-Senate Farm Bill legislation.

Take action now»

If you have any questions or would like more information about HSVMA’s legislative advocacy work on behalf of animals, contact us at [email protected].