The National Pork Producers Council in the US is happy to see that the California court case against the use of gestation crates has been thrown out.
“We are pleased that the ruling made by the Court of Appeals in California was positive for the producers involved and our industry,” NPPC president Joy Philippi told PigProgress.
The appeal case, directed against Corcoran-based pig producer CorcPork, was initiated by the animal activist group Farm Sanctuary, having lost a first court case in 2005. The group claimed individual gestation crates are ‘physically and psychologically abusive’.
Farm animals should be given ‘adequate exercise area’, they feel. However, at least one study by the American Veterinary Medical Association found no more significant problems with the individual stalls than with group pens.
NPPC is usually keeping a close watch on these developments as in the years prior to 2007 public actions by animal activist groups have led to gestation crate bans in the states of Florida and Arizona.
Philippi said, “It would be pure speculation on my part to predict if further actions will take place in California. But history on the activists activities to have gestation crates outlawed seem to be heavier in states with more dense population centers, and where there are fewer pigs produced.”
She continued, “We are concerned that “activist” type organizations are using the court system to challenge how our producers raise pigs in our country.”
“California is not one of the major pork production states in the US. But their production is important to the entire pork producing chain.”
Only last week, Smithfield also announced to be removing gestation crates from their pig production sites across the USA in the next decade.
In Europe, gestation crates will have to be disappeared by January 1st, 2013.
As CorcPork officials said they will continue to use the crates, the animal rights activists now plan to go to California Supreme Court.
Related news items:
â€¢ NPPC: gestation crates are also appropriate (26 Jan 2007)
â€¢ Smithfield ends use of gestation crates (26 Jan 2007)
â€¢ Activists now target California pig producers (23 Jan 2007)
â€¢ Arizona says ‘no’ to gestation crates (9 Nov 2006)