Ban Factory Farm Pig Crates in New Jersey

Target: New Jersey Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Y. Oliver

Goal: Outlaw gestational pig creates in New Jersey

Of the millions of pigs slaughtered every year, the majority are born, live, and die in factory farms. These farms take pigs away from their mothers long before they’ve finished nursing and shove them into 2 by 7 foot gestation crates, where they are fattened and the females are forced to give birth to seven litters a year. The state of New Jersey is considering passing a bill that would outlaw gestation crates, making it the tenth state to do so.

Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, and dogs have the cognitive ability of a four year old child. Pigs have even been trained to play some video games. Pigs also have hearts and skin that function much in the same way that human organs do. In fact, pigs are found to be susceptible to many of the same illnesses as people are, like influenza.

These gestation crates are too small for the pigs to move around in. Mother pigs barely have enough room to lie down in them while feeding their piglets. The pigs become depressed and anxious, biting the bars of the cage until their mouths bleed and rubbing against the crates and getting sores, which often get infected. Pigs also get sores because these cages fill with excrement and are rarely cleaned. Pigs with these “bedsores” often don’t get treatment before being made into pork, meaning that companies are serving infected meat.

A Cambridge University study demonstrated that 33% of sows are too damaged from these gestation crates to use as meat. If pigs are kept in a group house that gives them room to exercise and socialize, there is only a 4% removal rate. And an Iowa State University study found that group housing for pigs actually decreases costs. Many companies, including giant corporations like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Oscar Mayer, have pledged to stop keeping pigs in gestation crates.

The New Jersey gestational crate ban is supported by 91% of New Jersey voters. The Senate version of the bill passed 34-1, but it is still awaiting a decision in the New Jersey Assembly. Please urge New Jersey’s Speaker of the Assembly Sheila Y. Oliver to move this law forward as quickly as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Oliver,

We are writing to encourage the New Jersey Assembly to outlaw pig gestational crates. Pigs are compassionate, intelligent animals, and perform higher on cognitive tests, such as video games, than toddlers. Millions of pigs die on factory farms each year after living out their lives in 2 by 7 foot crates, which they can barely move in.

Mother sows are forced to nurse in these tiny crates. The mother pigs will rub against the concrete floor to try to make a nest. These cages are rarely cleaned, causing pigs to get bedsores from lying in their own filth. About 33% of pigs die as a result of these crates long before they are butchered. Studies show that keeping pigs in group housing where they can exercise and socialize is not only more humane, but actually costs less.

The proposed ban on gestational crates was approved 34-1 by the Senate, and is approved by 91% of New Jersey voters. Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, California, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Rhode Island have already enacted bans on gestational crates. Please urge the rest of the Assembly to enact the ban as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Humane Society of the United States via Wikimedia Commons

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