Missouri state officials have confirmed that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has identified Missouri as the next state battleground for restricting certain animal and livestock production practices, according to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

Members of livestock associations and faculty at the University of Missouri indicated at a field day recently that the Missouri state director of HSUS filed two proposed initiatives to restrict “puppy mills” in the state. The initiative proposes limiting to 50 the number of covered dogs a breeder can own and the offspring they could sell as pets.

The state livestock industry is concerned that if the ballot initiative passes, it could encourage HSUS to target pork, cattle and poultry producers.

HSUS has been successful in getting ballot initiatives passed banning sows stalls and laying hen battery cages in Arizona and California and has threatened similar action in Ohio. Last month, Ohio voters approved their own initiative, known as Issue 2. It establishes the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a 13-member group who will set and enforce guidelines for the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in the state.

The measure garnered strong support from the Ohio Pork Producers Council, the NPPC and other state agricultural organizations.