Channing Burd


happy cows, farm animal welfare, animal welfare, regulations, state law, federal law

Document Type



We have all seen the commercials and know “Happy Cows Come from California,” but there is a larger issue hidden inside the phrase. Why should not all farm animals be happy, regardless of which state they were raised in? Why are only the cows in California happy, but not the chickens and the hogs as well? Farm animal welfare in the United States needs regulatory overhaul, and we needed it decades ago. This article will illustrate why regulatory overhaul is needed. First, we will examine how a new system of laws, which are part of a uniform code enacted by every state, is the best solution to the problem surrounding farm animal welfare. Second, we will examine the increased consumer interest in farm animal welfare. Third, we will examine how consumers in some states have gone so far as to create laws through the voting process to address the needs they see. Fourth, we will examine how those laws do not help with the issue but instead make matters worse. Fifth, we will see how states have a variety of approaches to handling animal welfare, which creates a very fractionated approach across the country. Lastly, we will examine the federal legislation which has been ineffective and is outdated, lacking any true ability to address the issue.