Gestation crates

Big news out of New Jersey, particularly if you’re a pregnant pig: The state legislature voted to ban gestation crates by a vote of 60 to 5 in the Assembly and in the Senate by a vote of 29 to 4. It now goes to Governor Christie’s desk, where he’s expected to sign it into law.

Gestation crates are considered to be one of the most inhumane types of animal treatment in the food industry.  New Jersey joins states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Rhode Island, that have also passed legislation outlawing gestation crates. Breeding pigs are confined to crates so small and narrow that they can’t even turn around. Under bill S.1921, the highly intelligent animals would have enough space to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs during their four-month gestation period. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “The pigs are then placed into another crate to give birth, are re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilization.”

Bruce Friedrich, senior director for strategic initiatives at Farm Sanctuary,  said: “This decision from New Jersey’s legislature 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.”

According to a poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, nearly 90 percent of New Jersey voters support the passing of the bill. “Kudos to the New Jersey Legislature for taking a strong stance against the inhumane practice of immobilizing breeding pigs for virtually their entire lives,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, New Jersey state director for The HSUS. “We thank Sen. Lesniak for his leadership on animal protection issues and urge Governor Chris Christie to pass this bill.”

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Image courtesy of FarmSanctuary.org