Farmers who want to raise Prop 12 compliant pork are faced with new animal health concerns not experienced by those following industry standards of the last few decades.

Chief among those concerns are sow fighting and bodily injury associated with the animals developing a hierarchy within an open pen. 

“Within the Prop 12 system, there are no stalls. So we are looking for the best pen set-up for the sows,” said Kristina Horback, associate professor of animal science at University of California-Davis, last month during the Iowa Farm Bureau’s market study trip to Sacramento and surrounding areas.

Horback has studied practices that comply with Prop 12’s stringent and arbitrary housing requirements to guide farmers who want to raise ...