Both sides claim victory in humane care court ruling

July 30, 2008 07:00 PM

Traditional ag groups and animal rights organizations are both claiming victory in yesterday's New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on humane animal management practices.

The ruling, says the New Jersey Farm Bureau (NJFB), is an endorsement of the state's Department of Agriculture's authority and expertise in establishing humane livestock standards. Go to:

"Despite the appellants' challenge to routine livestock handling practices such as beak trimming, toe trimming and others, the court supports the legitimacy of those practices,” says Richard Nieuwenhuis, NJFB president.

Farm Sanctuary, an animal rights group, says the court rejected the practice of tail-docking cattle. But Ed Wengryn, NJFB spokesperson, says the New Jersey Department of Agriculture no longer recommends tail-docking because new research shows it is not necessary to maintain cattle cleanliness or milk quality.

The court did not strike down regulations that allow calf veal crates or sow gestation crates. The court did direct the department to better define who is "knowledgeable” to conduct castrations, beak docking and toe trimming. 


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