Ban Confinement of Cows and Pigs in Massachusetts

Target: Massachusetts Legislature

Goal: Ban cruel veal and gestation crates on Massachusetts farms

Bills that protect farm animals are gaining momentum throughout the country.  The newest one comes from Massachusetts, where legislators have proposed a bill that would ban veal and gestation crates, two intensive confinement methods for calves and pigs that have long been decried by animal activists everywhere.  Tell the Massachusetts legislature to reject agricultural lobbyists’ softer version of the bill and take another much needed step for farm animal welfare.

H458/S786 seeks to ban the use of two particularly cruel methods of animal confinement.  One is gestation crates, small pens where pregnant are kept for up to 4 of their 5 years on the planet.  The other is veal crates, small cages where baby cows are kept without the ability to even turn around.  Their intention is keep the animals weak so that their meat will remain tender.  Hopefully, banning their use would put an end to ignorant statements like the one made by the president of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau A. Richard Bonanno comparing veal crates to car seats for children.  Bonanno’s organization is the group responsible for a proposed alternative to the bill that would instead create an advisory panel to ensure that animal welfare standards are being enforced.

The Massachusetts Farm Bureau claims that they are protecting consumers and farmers from unnecessary regulation.  But the fact is, an advisory board could end up being just another rubber stamp for agricultural interests in the state.  Advocates for the original bill point out that because the two types of crates are almost absent from Massachusetts already, the cost on farmers would be minimal.  But the ban would prevent these terrifying devices from ever entering the state and would be a large step forward for the protection of farm animals.  Tell Massachusetts lawmakers to reject the farm lobby’s proposed bill and listen to the 89% of residents who said they would support a ban on confinement devices.


Dear Senators and Representatives of Massachusetts,

Recently, two members of the legislature proposed a bill that would ban the use veal and gestation crates in the state of Massachusetts.  Veal crates are small cages where baby cows are kept without room to stand or walk so that they can be slaughtered for their tender meat.  Gestation crates are small pens for pregnant pigs with a comparably limited amount of space to function.  Pigs, extremely intelligent and social animals, can spend up to 4 years of their lives in these pens.  Sadly, these sorts of intensive confinement methods for livestock have become the norm for the agricultural industry in the last few decades.  But you have the chance to say no to these forms of industrialized cruelty in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Farm Bureau has also introduced a bill that they believe would be more effective.  They want an advisory board to oversee the implementation of appropriate animal welfare standards.  They say they are only concerned for farmers and consumers.  But animal welfare is in everyone’s best interest; they just want to be able to use the cheapest methods for raising their livestock.  Massachusetts is already nearly free of gestation and veal crates but this bill would send a powerful message to both farmers and consumers alike that says animal cruelty will not be tolerated.  89% of people in Massachusetts said they would support a ban on intensive confinement methods for animals, will you?


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One Comment

  1. They also give them a diet of mostly sugar water to make them anemic to keep the meat looking pale. Their necks are usually chained so they can’t move. They are separated from their mothers very early. Who wants or needs to eat a product like this???

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