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Center for Food Safety Urges New Jersey Lawmakers to Protect Pigs from Extreme Confinement

November 15th, 2013
Center for Food Safety

Policy Director Elizabeth Kucinich to meet with legislators and press on Monday, day of the vote

On Monday, legislators in New Jersey will hold a vote to overturn a controversial veto by Governor Chris Christie on a bill to ban gestation crates in New Jersey hog farming. That bill, S.1921, overwhelmingly passed the state legislature with bipartisan support earlier this year, and has strong popular support. Despite the bill’s popularity, Governor Christie opted to veto the bill. Center for Food Safety and a coalition of consumer, food safety, and animal welfare groups are calling on legislators to uphold the ban. The groups urge all senators in favor of the ban to be present at the vote.

“It is essential that New Jersey lawmakers override Governor Christie’s callous veto of this humane, commonsense law," said Elizabeth Kucinich, policy director for Center for Food Safety. "With robust support from both parties and the public, and with the cruelty of gestation crates abundantly clear, legislators have every reason to support this bill. I will be at the State House in person on Monday to do everything I can to ensure that this bill becomes law." 

A statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research revealed that 91 percent of New Jersey voters support the legislation, and more than 100 New Jersey-based veterinarians signed on to a letter expressing support for A.3250/S.1921.  

New Jersey voters are not alone in their support for a ban on gestation crates. Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and the entire European Union have passed legislation to outlaw gestation crates. Additionally, McDonald’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Oscar Mayer and more than 60 other leading food companies have announced plans to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.

Gestation crates are one of the most inhumane features of factory hog farms.  According to the Humane Society, the typical gestation crate is about 6 feet long by 2 feet wide—hardly enough room for a sow that can grow to be 600 pounds.  During the reproductive period of a sow’s life, she will likely spend 2.5 years unable to move. To pigs that are active, naturally curious, intelligent, sentient beings, the treatment is akin to torture. The legislation passed in New Jersey this year, S.1921, simply required that pigs used for breeding be able to at least stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs.

Center for Food Safety’s Work on Animal Factories:

Center for Food Safety uses regulatory action, citizen engagement, litigation and legislation to promote transparency and accountability in the meat industry.  Most recently, CFS forced FDA to withdraw 98 of the 101 drug approvals for arsenic-based animal drugs—a major success for public health and animal welfare. Vigorous reporting of data, more stringent regulation of unchecked practices and enforcement of applicable laws affecting our health, environment and economic livelihoods are the core concepts behind our animal factory program.

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