Kagan Schechts Unkosher California Swine Law

January 23rd, 2012

Sorry, I couldn’t help that headline in National Meat Association v. Harris (Schect refers to the ritual kosher slaughter of an animal).

The FMIA’s preemption clause sweeps widely—and in so doing, blocks the applications of §599f challenged here.The clause prevents a State from imposing any additional or different—even if non-conflicting—requirements that fall within the scope of the Act and concern a slaughterhouse’s facilities or operations. And at every turn §599f imposes additional or different requirements on swine slaughterhouses: It compels them to deal with nonambulatory pigs on their premises in ways that the federal Actand regulations do not. In essence, California’s statute substitutes a new regulatory scheme for the one the FSIS uses. Where under federal law a slaughterhouse may takeone course of action in handling a nonambulatory pig,under state law the slaughterhouse must take another