Following up on the 2013 Farm Bill – its rejection was not all bad news. An amendment on the bill, created by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, had the potential to nullify numerous state animal protection laws, including those regarding factory farm confinement, food safety, environmental protection, and worker safety. This has been coined the “King Amendment”.
The Senate version of the Farm Bill did not contain any language similar to the King Amendment. The Humane Society of the United States and other groups strongly advocated to remove the King Amendment from the House Farm Bill on the floor, where the Farm Bill was rejected.
Hopefully, the next version of Farm Bill will be more sound in its entirety.
See current legal protections for farm animals here from ASPCA.
Sources: Anna West, The Humane Society of the United States, 16 May 2013; ASPCA, 2013