This week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the use of individual maternity pens for pregnant sows. The legislation was pushed by animal-rights groups and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) thanked Gov. Christie "for standing up to powerful lobbying groups on behalf of small, independent farmers."
Regarding the legislation, Christie said, "The legislative proceedings on this bill demonstrated that questions concerning the confinement and humane treatment of gestating pigs have become the subject of heated public debate. Expanding on those questions, this bill would criminalize the confinement of a gestating pig in a crate in which she could not freely turn – an industry practice that neither the American Veterinary Medical Association nor the American Association of Swine Veterinarians advocates to ban.. I have every confidence that the State Board and the Department will continue to closely monitor and study modern and appropriate techniques for the humane raising, keeping, care, and treatment of all domestic livestock, and will propose amended regulations if, and when, modern science and evidence demonstrates a need for modified agricultural practices."
Link to full statement by Gov. Christie
"This is a great example of a governor standing up to powerful lobbying groups on behalf of small, independent farmers," said NPPC President-elect Dr. Howard Hill, a pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa. "America’s family hog farmers thank Gov. Christie for rejecting this bad legislation."