Veterinarians in the US state of New Jersey have written to the government in support of a ban on gestation crates for pigs.
One hundred independent veterinarians across the state have signed a letter sent by the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) to New Jersey Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson, conveying their support for the proposed A.3250 Bill, which would ban the confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates.
The letter stated the Bill, which was introduced by Wilson and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride, would end “great suffering” caused by an “archaic practice”. It said that group housing was a far better alternative, which could actually reduce costs for producers.
“As unflinching advocates for animal health and welfare, we strongly agree with the central premise of this Bill, that gestation crate confinement of breeding pigs should be banned because of the inhumane treatment involved,” explained Dr Gordon Stull, a veterinarian and member of the HSVMA Leadership Council.
“Not only are we disturbed by the physical suffering that pigs confined in these crates endure, we are equally concerned with the psychological suffering that results from isolating intelligent, social animals from each other and from an inability to engage in most natural behaviours.”
Bill A.3250 passed through the New Jersey Senate with a majority of 31-1 last summer. If it passes through the Assembly, New Jersey will become the 10th US state to ban gestation stalls.