New Jersey has taken a major step forward in animal welfare by officially banning the inhumane confinement of pregnant pigs and veal calves. The state's Department of Agriculture has been directed to develop rules and regulations to ensure the well-being and proper care of these animals.
The legislative bills A-1970 and S-1298 were successfully passed through the State Legislature and were recently signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy. With this new legislation in place, New Jersey now prohibits the use of gestation crates and enclosures that limit the free movement of animals.
Governor Murphy emphasized the importance of humane farming practices, stating that they are an integral part of New Jersey's identity. He expressed his belief that farm animals deserve to be treated with care and should not be immobilized, thus promoting a more compassionate approach to animal husbandry.
Gestation crates, previously used to minimize aggression and potential injuries, will now be phased out in favor of more spacious and accommodating environments for pregnant pigs and veal calves. The rules and regulations to be developed by the relevant agencies may include exceptions for specific situations such as medical research, veterinary treatment, transportation, state or county fair exhibitions, humane slaughter, and the confinement of breeding pigs during the 14 days before giving birth or while nursing piglets.
Senate President Nick Scutari applauded the decision, emphasizing that confining breeding pigs in such restrictive crates is a form of cruelty that society should no longer tolerate. The move is seen as a moral imperative, prompting New Jersey to do the right thing for animal welfare.
Animal welfare advocates and public health organizations have widely praised Governor Murphy for signing this legislation into law. Wayne Pacelle, President of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, expressed gratitude for the governor's commitment to ending the torment endured by breeding sows in small metal cages. Pacelle highlighted the fundamental need for animals to have space to move and turn around, and this legislation aligns the law with this basic behavioral requirement.
Surprisingly, the New Jersey Farm Bureau has also shown support for the ban, joining forces with animal activists and public health organizations in recognizing the significance of providing more space and humane treatment for mother pigs and veal calves.
With this progressive move, New Jersey has positioned itself as a leader in animal welfare, setting an example for other states to follow. The new rules and regulations to be established will ensure that pregnant pigs and veal calves can live in more comfortable and humane conditions, reinforcing the state's commitment to responsible and compassionate farming practices.