Meat & Livestock News

Animal Protein Industry Unites Against EATS Act to Preserve State Welfare Laws


  • Major animal protein suppliers and retailers, including Whole Foods and Perdue, oppose the EATS Act, fearing it will override state-specific animal welfare laws.
  • The coalition sent an open letter to U.S. Senate and House agriculture committees, arguing the act threatens to disenfranchise voters in states like California and Massachusetts who have voted for higher animal welfare standards.
  • They caution that the act could lead to federal overreach into areas such as food safety and public health, beyond just animal welfare.

A coalition of key players in the animal protein sector, including prominent names like Whole Foods Market, Perdue, Pederson’s, duBreton, Niman Ranch, and ButcherBox, has taken a stand against the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act. This week, they addressed an open letter to the senior members of the U.S. Senate and House agriculture committees, voicing their opposition to the act’s inclusion in the upcoming farm bill.

The group frames their argument around constitutional rights, emphasising that the industry is already adapting to comply with animal welfare laws enacted in states like California and Massachusetts. These states have seen a strong voter turnout in favour of stringent animal welfare standards, and the coalition argues that the EATS Act threatens to undermine these democratically established norms.

The letter highlights concerns that the EATS Act could pave the way for federal overreach into areas traditionally managed by state legislation, including food safety, disease and pest control, and broader public health matters. They draw attention to a related proposal, the Protecting Interstate Commerce for Livestock Producers Act, as an example of potential extensions of the EATS Act’s influence.

By taking this stance, the signatories aim to safeguard the rights of states to set their own standards on animal welfare and related public health issues, warning against the dilution of these standards by overarching federal legislation.