WASHINGTON, June 7, 2013 – A Connecticut bill that would have banned the use of gestation crates for sows failed yesterday in the state’s House of Representatives. Connecticut’s lawmakers’ decision came despite an organized push from animal rights groups, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauded the defeat, arguing the bill would have “prevented farmers from caring for their animals in a way approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association.”
The legislation “was a solution in search of a problem,” said NPPC President-elect Dr. Howard Hill in a press release.
But HSUS says it is determined to reintroduce similar legislation in Connecticut next year. Despite “being popular, [the bill] simply ran out of time,” Matt Dominguez, an HSUS spokesman, told Agri-Pulse.
HSUS polling of 625 registered Connecticut voters in May found 91 percent in favor of banning gestation crates.
Even if the bill had passed, it's doubtful whether it would have made much of a practical difference to the pork industry – according to NPPC, Connecticut was 43rd in pork inventory in 2007. But the state would have joined Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island to become the tenth with anti-gestation crate legislation on the books.
Now, the gestation crate battle will move onto three other northeastern states: New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. A New Jersey bill to ban their use has already moved passed the legislature and is waiting for Governor Chris Christie’s signature. An NPPC spokesman says the organization “continues to provide information to his office.”
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