… New Jersey is on the verge of taking a strong stand against this cruelty, with both Assembly and Senate committees voting favorably on A5236/S3401, legislation to ban the confinement of pregnant pigs or calves raised for veal in these abhorrent crates…
New Jersey is on the verge of taking a stand against animal cruelty
Chris Holbein, Opinion, Asbury Park Press/app.com (NJ)
Nov 19, 2021
Holbein is the public policy director, Farm Animal Protection, the Humane Society of the United States
Most bacon, ham and pork chops sold in our grocery stores or restaurants come from a system that causes enormous animal suffering. The same is true for much of the veal offered in high-end establishments. Both the pork and veal industries commonly confine animals in crates so small they can’t even turn around.
To its great credit, New Jersey is on the verge of taking a strong stand against this cruelty, with both Assembly and Senate committees voting favorably on A5236/S3401, legislation to ban the confinement of pregnant pigs or calves raised for veal in these abhorrent crates. Now it’s time for the leadership in both chambers to bring this humanitarian measure up for a full vote, and once it’s approved, to send it promptly to Gov. Murphy for his signature.
The pork industry locks most mother pigs used for breeding in barren metal “gestation crates,” barely larger than their bodies. Pigs are highly sentient creatures, and independent animal welfare scientists say that the extreme confinement of mother pigs causes immense psychological and physiological suffering. They have been routinely documented chewing on the crates’ metal bars in frustration and desperation until their gums bleed. Calves used for veal fare no better. By-products of the dairy industry’s need to get rid of unwanted male calves (they don’t produce milk), they’re torn from their mothers shortly after birth and then locked in ultra-restrictive crates. Maternal deprivation and severe confinement combine to produce profound distress.
If all this sounds familiar, it’s because New Jersey lawmakers twice voted — overwhelmingly — to ban gestation crates, in 2013 and 2014. Both times, then-governor Chris Christie vetoed the legislation in an apparent attempt to placate pork producers in Iowa, where he was planning to run in the presidential caucus. To this day, the terrible result of his action remains in New Jersey, as the extreme confinement of pigs as well as calves remains legal here. Other states — both blue and red — have since taken strong steps to eliminate extreme confinement of farm animals, and New Jersey has another chance...