March 6, 2012
Citizens Call on Rhode Island Lawmakers to Pass Farm Animal Welfare Legislation
Citizens from across Rhode Island spent the morning meeting with lawmakers in Providence to urge them to pass S.2191/H.7180, twin bills that would prohibit the inhumane factory farming practice of virtually immobilizing breeding pigs and veal calves in tiny crates barely larger than their bodies for most of their lives. The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA® and Farm Sanctuary co-sponsored the event.
Rep. Patricia A. Serpa, D-Dist. 27, addressed animal advocates prior to a Judiciary Committee hearing that took place today. She also testified in support of H.1780 at that hearing.
“The humane treatment of animals is important to the voters of this great state,” said Rep. Serpa. “We hope the House Judiciary committee will pass this important piece of legislation and I look forward to voting for it.”
“It’s cruel and inhumane to confine animals in spaces so small, the animals are virtually immobilized for almost their entire lives,” said Matt Dominguez, public policy manager for farm animal protection at The HSUS. “We urge the legislature to enact this bill that would better align Rhode Island’s farming practices with the values of Rhode Island citizens and consumers.”
Hearings on S.2191/H.7180 are being held on March 6 in the House of Representatives and March 7 in the Senate. The bills would prevent two of the most notorious factory farm abuses: confining calves in veal crates and pigs in gestation crates.
In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, then they are placed into another crate to give birth. They are re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate, pregnancy after pregnancy, until they are slaughtered. These crates are about two feet by seven feet, preventing the pigs from even turning around. It adds up to years of extreme confinement, to the point of virtual immobilization.
Calves raised for veal suffer nearly their entire lives inside individual wooden crates so small, the calves are unable to even turn around. They are often tethered by their necks for nearly their entire five-month lives.
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