November 19, 2013
New Jersey Going Whole Hog Against Gestation Crates
Make N.J. the 10th state to ban the worst pig confinement
Update Nov. 19, 2013: Yesterday, hundreds of animal advocates flooded the New Jersey state house in support of the veto override of S 1921. We were just two votes shy of the supermajority we needed. We are closer than ever to making this happen for farm animals, and we will all be back in action before the next vote, scheduled for December.
Thanks to your hard work, tens of thousands of people have been exposed to one of the most abusive factory farming practice on earth, and many more people are now animal advocates as a result of this campaign. Please visit The HSUS's New Jersey page on Facebook for the latest news.
Earlier this year, New Jersey's legislature voted to ban confining breeding pigs in gestation crates, metal cages so small the pigs can't even turn around. The bill, S 1921, won overwhelming bipartisan support (60-5 in the Assembly and 29-4 in the Senate) and the backing of more than 90 percent of New Jersey residents.
Sadly, the governor vetoed this common-sense bill, but we can still make the cruel confinement of mother pigs illegal in New Jersey by asking lawmakers to vote for it one more time.
Pigs locked in crates are essentially immobilized for their entire lives. They are forcibly impregnated, made to churn out litter after litter, and suffer muscle and joint deterioration and crippling pain. Because these inquisitive, social animals are denied mental stimulation, many perform coping behaviors such as constantly biting the metal bars.
World-renowned animal welfare scientist Dr. Temple Grandin says, "We've got to treat animals right, and gestation stalls have got to go...Confining an animal for most of its life in a box in which it is not able to turn around does not provide a decent life."
S 1921 enjoys broad support in New Jersey
- More than 100 New Jersey-based veterinarians support S 1921.
- S 1921 is backed by more than 30 New Jersey family farmers.
- New Jersey’s leading animal protection groups support this legislation, including the NJSPCA, Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey, Animal Protection League of New Jersey, Burlington County SPCA], Monmouth County SPCA, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, the New Jersey League of Humane Voters, People for Animals, the Humane Society of Atlantic City, Animal Welfare Association, and Animal Alliance.
- Nationally, the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, Farm Sanctuary, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Mercy for Animals, Compassion Over Killing, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Humane League, Farm Forward, and the Center for Food Safety all endorse this effort.
- In just the past two months, nearly 40 letters to the editor in support of S 1921 have been published in New Jersey newspapers.
- Nine newspapers in New Jersey have editorialized in favor of S 1921, including The Daily Journal, The Asbury Park Press, Daily Record, The Courier News, Press of Atlantic City, Courier-Post, The Times of Trenton, Home News Tribune, and The Star-Ledger.
- More than 400 businesses in New Jersey have signed a petition supporting the passage of S 1921 and thanking lawmakers who voted in favor of this bill earlier this year.
- New Jersey native Martha Stewart wrote an open letter to members of the legislature urging them to override the veto.
[C]onsumers of all political persuasions are increasingly motivated to advocate for higher-quality food…New Jersey's lawmakers have already stood up for mother pigs who can barely move. We urge them to take one more step to outlaw cruelty."
—The (N.J.) Courier-Post
Opposition to gestation crates beyond New Jersey
- States and countries: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, and the entire European Union have already passed legislation to outlaw gestation crates.
- Food corporations: Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, and Hormel Foods, maker of SPAM, have already announced that they will end the use of gestation crates in their company-owned facilities. In addition, nearly 60 of the world's largest food corporations, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Denny's, Cracker Barrel, Compass Group, Tim Hortons, Sonic, Kroger, Kraft Foods, and Safeway, are pushing to end gestation crate use in their supply chains.
- Independent scientists and experts condemn gestation crates.
Rarely do so many business owners, veterinarians, agricultural industry advisors, newspapers, farmers, food retail corporations, lawmakers of both parties, and the public agree. But in this case, there is an emerging consensus: pigs used in food production should at least be able to turn around.
Group-housing systems allow the animals to move around and socialize. An Iowa State University study found that "group housing...resulted in a weaned pig cost that was 11 percent less than the cost of a weaned pig from the individual stall confinement system."