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Massachusetts legislature considers sow gestation crate ban

With many pork producers in the US pledging to phase out sow gestation crates from their supply chains, lawmakers from the state of Massachusetts have given initial approval to a bill that if ratified, would make keeping pigs, hens and calves in confined cages a criminal offense.

The bill (H 458) prohibits the use of gestation crates, and establishes "minimum humane standards" for the spaces that pregnant pigs, calves bred for veal, and egg-laying hens can live in.

The Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation reports, however, that there are no farms employing these confinements in the state, nor have there been for at least a decade.

Jason Lewis, sponsor of the bill, has rejoined that the bill serves two purposes: To outlaw the practise, and to dissuade larger companies from moving to the state and competing with its smaller family farms.

Nine other states have passed laws banning the practice. Rhode Island recently passed similar legislation, and New Jersey appears primed to do the same.

Source: the Lowell Sun

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