North Carolina Legislation Would Implement Minimum Standards for Treatment of Farmed Animals, Phase Out Traditional Hog Waste Management Systems

North Carolina House Bill 863 would require that the state Board of Agriculture establish “minimum humane standards for cows, poultry, and swine” that include, at a minimum: a prohibition on “tethering or confining any calf raised for veal, egg-laying hen, or swine during pregnancy on a farm, for all or the majority of the day, in a manner that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending the animal’s limbs, or turning around freely”; a requirement that all “on-farm killing of cows or swine be performed in a humane manner using methods explicitly deemed “acceptable” by the American Veterinary Medical Association”; and a prohibition on the “transport, sale, or receipt, for use in the human food supply, of any cow or calf too sick or injured to stand and walk.” The bill would also require phasing out traditional lagoon and sprayfield animal waste management systems on hog farms by September 1, 2027 but would exempt facilities producing energy from animal waste.