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Pork Production Practice Banned In Arizona

by 5m Editor
9 November 2006, at 11:08am

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Expressing concern that a similar ban will be attempted in other states or included in the next Farm Bill, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) decried yesterday’s vote in Arizona to prohibit the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs and the use of veal crates.

Arizonans voted 61.5 to 38.5 percent in favor of Proposition 204, which will require that pregnant pigs and calves raised for veal be kept in enclosures large enough that they can turn around and fully extend their limbs. It will go into effect Dec. 31, 2012.

“We are disappointed that the voters of Arizona adopted a proposition outlawing a husbandry practice deemed appropriate by decades of farmer experience, as well as by university researchers and the nation’s leading veterinarian association,“ said NPPC President Joy Philippi, a pork producer from Bruning, Neb. “It is regrettable that animal-rights groups were successful in vilifying honest, hardworking farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely and provide them a safe, healthy environment in which to grow.“

The ballot initiative was backed mainly by the Humane Society of the U.S. and Farm Sanctuary. The groups helped pass a similar ballot initiative in Florida in 2002. Shortly after that success, a Farm Sanctuary official said: “The Florida victory will lead to similar reforms across the nation.“

“It’s likely this ban will be pushed in other states or possibly included in the 2007 Farm Bill,“ Philippi pointed out. “These groups certainly won’t stop with Arizona.“

A coalition of agricultural organizations – the Campaign for Arizona Farmers and Ranchers – which NPPC supported, worked to defeat the measure. Because of their efforts, coalition members were subject to intimidation during the run-up to Election Day. Written death threats were sent to some coalition officials, and the offices of the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association were vandalized. The incidents were reported to the FBI.

“We were shocked and dismayed that animal-rights extremists resorted to threatening people who opposed this ill-advised new law,“ Philippi said. “There is never room for threats or violence in the democratic process, and we support the FBI in its investigation and prosecution of these unlawful acts.“

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor