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Supreme Court decision could mean changes to how pigs are treated in Massachusetts and beyond

Patrick Semansky
The Supreme Court.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision focused on pork products in California could mean changes for farmers in Massachusetts and beyond.

The court on Thursday let stand a California law, which says pork sold in the state must come from pigs with a certain amount of living space.

A Massachusetts law requiring something similar was passed by voters through a ballot initiative almost seven years ago.

New requirements in Massachusetts for how much space producers must provide egg-laying chickens and veal calves have already gone into effect. But the rules for pigs were put on hold pending the Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the California law.

Kara Holmquist with the Massachusetts SPCA said the group is thrilled and relieved by the ruling.

"We are just really glad that so many more animals will be spared the suffering from this type of confinement," she said.

A federal judge ruled earlier that those involved in the Massachusetts case should get together within 10 days of the high court's ruling and discuss the path forward.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association, one of the groups fighting the Massachusetts law in court, declined comment. The group said its attorneys are still reviewing the Supreme Court's decision.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.

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