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June 21, 2012

The HSUS Applauds New Jersey Senate for Overwhelming Support in Passing Legislation to Protect Breeding Pigs and Tigers

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the New Jersey Senate for passing two important animal protection bills: S.1921 and S.945. New Jersey state senators voted 35 to 1 to pass S.1921, legislation that prohibits the extreme confinement of breeding pigs in crates so small, they prevent the animals from even turning around for nearly their entire lives; and 35 to 0, to pass S.945, a bill to require certificates of registration for captive tigers. Both bills were championed by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union.

“The Humane Society of the United States is delighted that the New Jersey Senate passed these two important animal protection bills today,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, The HSUS’ New Jersey state director. “We urge Governor Chris Christie to sign S.945 into law to monitor captive tigers in the state and urge the General Assembly to pass S.1921, outlawing the extreme confinement of breeding pigs in New Jersey. We would also like to thank Senator Lesniak for his great leadership on these two bills.”

Lesniak said, "Animals are God's creation as much as are we humans. These bills recognize that cruelty to animals and threats to their extinction need to be eliminated."

“Farm Sanctuary applauds the New Jersey Senate for passing this forward-thinking legislation. Gestation crates are so abusive of animals that they’ve been banned in much of Europe and nine U.S. states. We look forward to New Jersey becoming the tenth,” said Farm Sanctuary Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives Bruce Friedrich.

S.945 would require owners of tigers held in captivity in New Jersey to have certificates of registration. While New Jersey prohibits the private ownership of tigers and other dangerous wild animals as pets, the new legislation provides a mechanism to help stop captive tigers from falling into the exotic animal trade. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

S.1921 would require that breeding pigs be able to at least stand up, lie down, turn around, and extend their limbs. In the pork industry, the vast majority of breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates--cages roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies. The sows 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. 

Gestation crates are so cruel that nine U.S. states and the European Union have passed legislation to outlaw them. Rhode Island became the ninth state when it enacted a similar bill to New Jersey’s S. 1921 this week, and Massachusetts has a similar bill pending. Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest pork producer, and Hormel Foods, maker of Spam, have already announced that they will end the confinement of sows in gestation crates in their company-owned facilities. Additionally, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Sonic, Kroger’s and Safeway recently announced that they want to end gestation crate use in their supply chains.

Media Contact: Pepper Van Tassell: 240-751-0232; pvantassell@humanesociety.org;

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