Pork production practice banned in California
Expressing concern that a similar ban will be attempted in other states, the
National Pork Producers Council decried yesterday's vote in California to
prohibit the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs.
Californians voted 63.2 to 36.8
percent in favour of Proposition 2, which will require that pregnant pigs,
laying hens and calves raised for veal be kept in enclosures large enough that
they can turn around and fully extend their limbs. Producers will have until
Jan. 1, 2015, to change their housing systems.
“We are disappointed that
the voters of California adopted a proposition outlawing a husbandry practice
deemed appropriate by decades of farmer experience, as well as by university
researchers and the nation's leading veterinarian association,” said NPPC
President Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio.
American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine
Veterinarians recognise gestation stalls and group housing systems as
appropriate for providing for the well-being of sows during pregnancy. The
groups also point out that the key factor that most affects animal well-being is
husbandry skills – that is the care given to each animal.
regrettable that animal-rights groups were successful in vilifying honest,
hardworking farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely and provide
them a safe, healthy environment in which to grow,” said
Humane society backing
The ballot initiative
was backed mainly by the Humane Society of the United States, which helped pass
similar ballot initiatives in Arizona in 2006 and in Florida in
“California often is a bellwether, so it's likely this ban will be
pushed in other states,” Black said. “We certainly don't expect the Humane
Society to stop with California.”.
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