New Jersey Department of Agriculture officials have been ordered to adopt rules and regulations for the confinement and care of pregnant pigs and calves raised for veal.
NJ legislative bills A-1970 and S-1298 made it through the State Legislature and were signed into law earlier this week by Gov. Phil Murphy. New Jersey law now prohibits confinement with enclosures that limit free movement.
Murphy said humane farming practices are “at the heart of New Jersey’s identity,” He said rather than being “immobilized,” farm animals would be “treated with care.”
New Jersey is ending the use of gestation crates, long used to minimize aggression and threat of injury, in favor of more extensive accommodations.
The rules and regulations being promulgated by the agencies may include exceptions for:
(1) Medical research;
(2) Examination, testing, or veterinary treatment that is supervised by a licensed veterinarian, either in person or via a telemedicine appointment;
(4) State or county fair exhibitions, 4-H programs, or similar temporary exhibitions;
(5) Humane slaughter in accordance with applicable laws and regulations; and
(6) Confinement of a breeding pig during the 14 days prior to the expected date of the breeding pig giving birth or on any day when the breeding pig is nursing piglets.
“Placing breeding pigs in gestation crates where their movements are so severely constrained before giving birth represents an uncommon cruelty we as a society should no longer accept,” said Senate President Nick Scutari. “In the end, this is a question of morality, and whether New Jersey is willing to do the right thing.”
“We are immensely grateful to Gov. Murphy for signing legislation to stop the worst torment on pig factory farms: immobilization of the breeding sows in small metal cages,” said Wayne Pacelle, President of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy. “Animals built to move should be able to walk and to turn around, and the governor’s signature on this bill aligns the law with that basic behavioral need.”
The New Jersey Farm Bureau joined animal activists and public health organizations in supporting more space for mother pigs and calves raised for veal.
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