Posted November 19, 2013
 
A vote to override New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s veto of a bill banning gestation crates for female pigs was scheduled for Monday, but was later postponed, according to an article by the Associated Press available here.
 
The legislation, NJ S1921, was overwhelmingly approved by both Houses, but was later vetoed by Gov. Christie in June.  The veto override vote was suspended because Democrats were two votes short, with two Republicans abstaining and two members absent. 
 
Sponsor of the bill, Sen. Ray Lesniak, said he would try for a veto override again before the legislative session ends in early January. 
 
The legislation “criminalizes the confinement of pregnant pigs in crates so small they can’t stand up and turn around” and would make the crime punishable by fines up to $1,000.
 
Christie said that he vetoed the measure because “animal care standards are best left to state agricultural experts.”  Some, however, accused Christie of “pandering to Iowa farmers” as the likely 2016 presidential candidate.
 
Gestation crates have already been banned by Florida, nine other states, and the European Union, according to an article by NJ Spotlight available here.  In Australia and New Zealand, bans will take effect over the next two years and Canada will phase out the practice over the next 10 years.
 
Over 60 major food companies including Chipotle, Campbell’s Soup, McDonald’s, Costco, and Oscar Mayer are also “following suit.”

 

For more information on animal welfare, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.