October 9, 2012
New Jersey Senator Urges Voters to Support Bill Banning Extreme Confinement of Pigs
Sen. Lesniak’s Video Message Addresses Legislation Backed by The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States and New Jersey Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak are reaching out to New Jersey citizens with a recorded video message in support of S.1921/A.3250, a bill to phase out gestation crates on factory farms and require that breeding pigs have sufficient space to turn around. The bill has passed the state Senate 35-1 and now awaits consideration by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
A statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research reveals that 91 percent of New Jersey voters support S.1921/A.3250 while only 4 percent oppose it.
“It’s a simple bill. It simply requires that breeding pigs at the very least be able to stand up, turn around and extend their limbs,” says Sen. Lesniak, champion of the bill, in the new video. “Everyone should support such a humane concept, and we need your help to get this legislation through the Assembly.”
“We thank Senator Lesniak for his leadership in championing this important animal protection legislation,” said Kathleen Schatzmann, The HSUS’ New Jersey state director. “It’s inhumane to confine pigs in crates barely larger than the size of their bodies for years on end, and New Jersey citizens want to ensure that gestation crates no longer remain legal in the Garden State.”
In the video, which depicts the daily suffering that breeding pigs endure, Sen. Lesniak calls on New Jersey citizens to urge their state Assembly members to co-sponsor this bill, which would phase out the use of gestation crates in New Jersey.
In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, two-foot-wide cages roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies, preventing them from even turning around. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilization.
- S.1921 was introduced by Sen. Raymond Lesniak. A.3250 was introduced by Asm. Gilbert “Whip” Wilson.
- The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest paper, editorialized in favor of the bill, urging that the “government focus on preventing real animal cruelty” by passing the bill, and concluding that the bill is just about “basic decency.”
- Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Rhode Island have passed laws to phase out this intensive confinement system. The European Union has also passed legislation to outlaw the practice.
- Recently food giants including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Safeway and Campbell Soup Co.—a New Jersey based company—publicly committed to getting gestation crates out of their supply chains.
- Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest pig producer, and Hormel Foods, maker of SPAM, have pledged to end the confinement of sows in gestation crates in their company-owned facilities by 2017; Cargill is already 50 percent gestation crate-free.
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