The National Meat Assn. challenges a California law that says
slaughterhouses must remove and 'humanely euthanize' animals unable to walk.
The case of the "nonambulatory pigs" involves a dispute between California and the pork industry over how to handle pigs unwilling or unable to walk when they arrive at a slaughterhouse.
The issue, which the justices will take up next week, has already gotten the Obama administration in trouble with the Humane Society of the United States, which faulted government lawyers for joining the case on the side of the pork producers.
Under a 3-year-old California law, a slaughterhouse operator must immediately remove a "nonambulatory animal" from a herd and "humanely euthanize" it.