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May 29, 2013

New Poll Shows 91 Percent of Connecticut Voters Support Legislation to Protect Farm Animals

Bill would ban extreme confinement of pigs in small crates

A statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research finds that an overwhelming majority of Connecticut voters favor legislation to require that breeding pigs have enough space to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs.

Large majorities in all demographic groups and party affiliations support such legislation -- 91 percent of voters overall.

The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill, HB 6317, that would ban the small, two-foot-wide crates that are used in the pork industry to confine breeding pigs during their pregnancies.

“It’s not surprising that nine out of 10 Connecticut voters want their lawmakers to protect farm animals from inhumane confinement,” said Annie Hornish, Connecticut state director at The HSUS. “Our values and common sense tell us that farm animals should be able to at least have enough space to turn around, and by codifying this into law, Connecticut will demonstrate its commitment to production systems that are consistent with mainstream values.” 

In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates – cages barely larger than the animals’ bodies, preventing them from even turning around. They are then placed into another crate to give birth, 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.

The survey also found that nearly 80 percent of voters say they are more likely to cast their ballot for a lawmaker who supports legislation to prohibit gestation crates

Survey

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Washington, D.C. interviewed 625 registered Connecticut voters statewide from May 21 through May 23, 2013. Margin for error is plus or minus 4 percent.

QUESTION: Breeding pigs on factory farms are often kept during their pregnancies in two-foot-wide metal cages knows as “gestation crates,” where the pigs do not have enough room to turn around for nearly their entire lives.   

Would you support or oppose a bill that would require breeding pigs on farms to have sufficient space to be able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs? 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS  

SUPPORT

91%

87%

94%

95%

86%

91%    

OPPOSE

5%

6%

4%

3%

7%

6%    

UNDECIDED

4%

7%

2%

2%

7%

3%    

                                             

QUESTION: If the legislature passed a bill allowing breeding pigs to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs, would you support or oppose Governor Dannel Malloy signing the bill into law? 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS  

SUPPORT

89%

86%

91%

93%

83%

87%    

OPPOSE

6%

7%

5%

3%

7%

8%    

UNDECIDED

5%

7%

4%

4%

10%

5%    

 

QUESTION: Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a state legislator who voted for a bill that allows breeding pigs to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs? 

 

STATE

MEN

WOMEN

DEMS

REPS

INDS  

MORE

79%

73%

84%

83%

76%

77%   

LESS

3%

4%

2%

2%

3%

5%   

NO EFFECT

18%

23%

14%

15%

21%

18%   


FACTS:

  • Ten U.S. states and the European Union have passed legislation to outlaw these types of intensive confinement systems. 
  • Renowned meat industry animal welfare advisor, Temple Grandin, Ph.D., states that gestation crates “are a real problem” and “have to go.”
  • Smithfield Foods, the nation’s largest pig 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. Meanwhile, many traditional family farmers have avoided using gestation crates for generations.
  • Since February 2012, major food retailers—including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Costco, Kroger, Safeway, Kraft (Oscar Mayer), Target, Heinz, Campbell Soup, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Sonic, Baja Fresh, Kmart, Compass Group, ARAMARK, Sysco, Campbell Soup Company, SUBWAY, Wienerschnitzel, ConAgra Foods and Dunkin’ Brands—have announced that they will eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.

Media Contact: Anna West: 301-258-1518; awest@humanesociety.org

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