June 29, 2013

(TRENTON, NJ) ― New Jersey Farm Bureau applauds Governor Christie’s decision to veto S-1921, a bill that would have upended the Department of Agriculture’s (NJDA) duly adopted livestock care standards by imposing a de facto ban on the use of gestation crates on pig farms in the state. NJDA’s Humane Treatment of Domestic Livestock standards, approved by the legislature in 1995 and adopted in 2004, already address all aspects of livestock care including the proper use of gestation crates.

We acknowledge that some animal welfare groups and veterinarians question the appropriateness of this particular practice but agree with the Governor’s opinion in his veto statement that “the proper balancing of the humane treatment of gestating pigs with the interests of farmers whose livelihood depends on their ability to properly manage their livestock rests with the state’s farming experts – the State Board and Department (of Agriculture)”. Questions relative to the appropriateness of using gestation crates should be brought to the veterinary care experts at NJDA for a review and opponents of this practice should present the necessary evidence to illustrate that the standards should further restrict the use of these crates.

“In our opinion, the Governor made the right decision by vetoing S-1921″, said NJFB President, Ryck Suydam. “By way of the Humane Treatment of Domestic Livestock standards, the state already has a science-based mechanism for reviewing these types of practices, thus rendering legislative action on this particular issue unnecessary.”

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