Wednesday, July 3, 2013

NJ Governor Vetoes Ban on Gestation Crates

On June 27, 2013 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned the use of gestation crates. Farmers use gestation crates, a metal stall which limits a sow’s movement, to house sows during pregnancy. The bill, Senate Bill 1921, would have amended Title 4 and made it illegal to confine a gestating sow in a way that prevented the sow “from being able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up or fully extend its limbs.” The use of gestation crates has recently created a debate in both political and public forums. Several states have passed or are considering legislation banning gestation crates and some of the largest restaurants, including McDonald’s, Applebee’s and Subway, are phasing out the use of gestation crates. Animal welfare activists argue the use of gestation crates is inhumane while defenders state the crates are necessary for sow health and safety and improve a farmer’s ability to manage sows. In his veto statement, Christie noted the decision should be left to the New Jersey’s Board of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture who are better situated to determine what is in the best interest of farmers and animals.

For more information on this issue, please see the Current Issues section of the Agricultural Law Center’s Website.
Written by Clara E. Conklin - Research Assistant
The Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
July 3, 2013

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