Bills have been introduced in both legislative houses of Maryland, US, aiming to make it illegal to house pigs in crates that do not allow them to turn around.
The bills state that a person may not confine a hog during pregnancy on a farm in a manner that prevents the pig from lying down and fully extending its limbs or turning around freely.
A person convicted of violating this act could be punished by imprisonment for a maximum of 90 days, or a fine of up to $1000.
If enacted, the law would take effect on October 1, 2007.
The state of Maryland is the fifth state in the USA in which gestation crates are targeted. The states of Florida and Arizona have already forbidden the use of gestation crates in the past couple of years.
In Oregon and California, discussions are going on about the future of gestation crates.
Recently, large integrators like Smithfield and Maple Leaf announced to phase out the use of gestation crates. In addition, fast-food giant Burger King is intending to cut down on pork produced with the use of gestation crates.