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August 7, 2023

Regulations on pork sales to take effect August 24

Photo | Timothy Doyle Market Basket's Shrewsbury location

Long-awaited regulations on the sale of pork products in Massachusetts will launch in less than three weeks under a new legal agreement between state officials and industry groups.

Bringing to a close part of a lengthy legal battle, a federal judge on Monday approved a compromise that allows the attorney general's office and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to begin enforcing pork-related sections of a livestock treatment law starting Aug. 24.

Pork meat and products will no longer be permitted for sale if they are derived from any pig that is not housed in a sufficient amount of space, even if the animal was raised and slaughtered in another state.

However, as part of the deal, officials will not enforce any new restrictions on pork meat produced elsewhere that passes through Massachusetts on its way to a final sale destination in another state. That portion of the regulations will be paused for at least six months while MDAR crafts amended language to better deal with "transshipped" pork meat.

The joint motion was filed Friday by Attorney General Andrea Campbell's office and plaintiffs in a case that challenged the Massachusetts law, including the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the National Pork Producers Council.

Other parts of the livestock law, which voters approved in 2016 via ballot question, governing eggs and veal meat have already taken effect. 

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