(AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the state of California can block the slaughter of non-ambulatory pigs. The high court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from the National Meat Association. 

The case is expected to be put on the Court’s calendar in the next term, which begins on October 4, according to a NMA news release.

According to the NMA release, "This is an important case regarding the application of the clear preemption provisions of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which were disregarded by the Court of Appeals. NMA is seeking injunctive relief against section 599f of California law, which would eliminate the ability of Federal inspectors to conduct ante-mortem inspections of non ambulatory swine."

The Court decided only after requesting and obtaining the views of the Solicitor General of the United States.

After the 2008 release of an undercover Humane Society video showing workers abusing cows at a southern California slaughterhouse, the state strengthened regulations against the slaughter of downer animals. Under California law, the ban on buying, selling and slaughter of downer cattle also extends to pigs, sheep and goats.

That law was blocked by a federal judge at the urging of pork processors. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state law could be enforced. Meat processors want the Supreme Court to overturn that decision.

The case is National Meat Association v. Brown, 10-224.

Source: National Meat Association, The Associated Press.