New Jersey Becomes 10th State to Ban Sow Stalls

NEW JERSEY, US - Animal protection groups have applauded the New Jersey Assembly for voting to end the use of confinement systems for breeding pigs.
calendar icon 29 March 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) applaud the New Jersey Assembly for passing A.3250/S.1921 by a vote of 60 to five.

A.3250/S.1921 will prohibit the extreme confinement of breeding pigs in crates so small that the animals are unable to even turn around for nearly their entire lives. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence, then to Governor Chris Christie.

HSUS New Jersey State Director, Kathleen Schatzmann, said: "New Jersey is one step closer to becoming the tenth state to outlaw the extreme confinement of breeding pigs in gestation crates. We thank Senator Raymond Lesniak and Assembly members Gilbert 'Whip' Wilson, Marlene Caride and Thomas Giblin for their great leadership on this important bill."

Farm Sanctuary Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives, Bruce Friedrich, said: "New Jersey’s decision is further evidence that these cruel systems have no future. Cramming animals into crates so small that they can’t even turn around is horribly abusive. These systems have no place in a just society."

Mercy For Animals Executive Director, Nathan Runkle, commented: "As a civilised society, it is our moral obligation to protect all animals, including farmed animals, from needless suffering and abuse. We praise the New Jersey Assembly for taking action on this important animal welfare measure."

Senior Director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic Region, Debora Bresch, Esq., said: "Americans care deeply about how farm animals are treated, and this inhumane practice is out of step with the values of New Jersey’s citizens. This bill will help ensure better welfare for New Jersey’s breeding pigs, who all too often endure lives of agony and frustration on factory farms."

HSUS says that A.3250/S.1921 would require that breeding pigs raised for pork be able to at least stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs. The vote in New Jersey signifies a movement away from the three-decade-old trend in the pork industry that has left most breeding pigs confined day and night in gestation crates during their four-month pregnancy. These cages are roughly the same size as the animals' bodies and are designed to prevent them from even turning around. The animals are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilisation. This confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers and others, according to HSUS.

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