In what many are calling a political move intended solely to advance New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential aspirations, he vetoed legislation that would have banned the use of gestation crates for pigs in the garden state.
While New Jersey is home to only a few pig farms, Iowa is the nation’s leading state for pork products, and it's also home to the first presidential caucuses, making clear the personal priorities of Governor Christie rather than representing his constituents. Legislation banning confining gestation crates in New Jersey was first passed in 2012. Governor Christie vetoed that bill as well, saying that the state would closely monitor its pig farmers rather than fine or imprison pig farmers for employing use of gestation crates, which prevent sows from being able to turn around or extend their limbs. The recent bill received support from numerous animal rights organizations and celebrities before passing through both of the state's legislative bodies.
“While the [gestation crates] bill wouldn’t affect farmers in Iowa, Mr. Christie has made political alliances with key Republicans there, and pork producers lobbied against the bill,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Governor Christie criticized the bill in his veto message, and blamed lawmakers for passing it in response to “misguided partisans and special interest groups.”
“This bill is a solution in search of a problem. It is a political movement masquerading as substantive policy,” Mr. Christie wrote.
Gestation crates have been banned in nine states because of the extreme confinement that makes pigs--animals that are as intelligent as dogs—exhibit extreme signs of stress and anxiety. Pig farmers defend the use of the crates, saying that they protect the newborn piglets from being injured during nursing.
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