Kudos to Connecticut

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Editor's Note: The following article originally appeared in the June issue of PorkNetwork.

America’s pork producers recently expressed gratitude for the Connecticut General Assembly’s fortitude. State legislators stood with local family farmers in defeating legislation that would have banned the use of gestation stalls, a safe and humane form of housing for pregnant sows.

According to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the vast majority of independent pork producers use gestation stalls to house pregnant sows because they allow for individualized care and eliminate aggression from other sows. The housing method is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

As Connecticut family farmers stood up for their right to farm, the misguided legislation failed on multiple fronts, including in the legislature’s Environment Committee, which removed stall-ban language from a bill that would create a livestock care board. Farmers across the state rallied for their right to farm, attending hearings and submitting comments. Animal-rights groups hired out-of-state volunteers to lobby the assembly.

“Wealthy animal-rights groups appear to have a bumpy road ahead of them after so many failed legislative attempts to criminalize farmers for using humane farming practices,” says Dr. Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa, who is immediate past-president of NPPC. “The outlook for their future state-level crusades against local family farmers, thankfully, is grim.”

The defeat in Connecticut is one in a series of state-level failures for animal-rights groups, which have pushed gestation stall bans in states with little agriculture production. In the process, these groups have spent exorbitant amounts of their donors’ contributions.

Activist groups have used the few wins they have had in the past to pressure food companies to take similar stands, without telling them those states represent a very small percentage of the nation’s pork producers. That strategy has lost its effectiveness with the recent defeats of their initiatives.

“The legislative power of animal-rights groups is waning as state after state has stood up in favor of local farmers,” says Hill. “These groups are introducing the same legislation in the same states and being served defeat after defeat.”

Click here for more articles from our June issue.

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Ty Savoy    
Nova Scotia, Canada  |  June, 29, 2014 at 05:14 AM

In the past, industries that use animals like the pork industry have been effective in combating common sense and good ethics towards animals by calling animal rights people radicals. and extremists. This is increasingly become ineffective, as people see with their own eyes how animals are treated in the modern factory farm syystem. The Conneticut Pork industry might want to consider what effect changing public attitudes towards animal use is having on their business's bottom dollar. One of the ugliest phrases in the English language is, 'But it's always been done this way.' Outlined well in this June 8, 2014 article, from the Indianapolis publication, Star Tribune - http://tiny.cc/dnn7hx - 'Consumer pressure leads Cargill to give pigs more room' ....' 'The move to group sow housing by Cargill and other U.S. pork firms reflects an important shift in thinking about animal welfare, from consumers to large food ­corporations. Consumers are increasingly interested in how their food is produced — including how animals are treated — while animal rights groups have ratcheted up pressure on the food industry. The result: restaurant chains, packaged food makers and supermarkets — all big pork buyers — are increasingly requiring suppliers like Cargill to phase out crates and move to group sow housing. At least 60 major U.S. companies have made public declarations for such a shift, including the Twin Cities’ General Mills, Target and Supervalu. “If you want to be a viable supplier, you respond to the signals your customers send,” said Jeff Worstell, vice president of livestock production for Cargill Pork. Minnetonka-based Cargill intends to phase out all individual stalls from its own hog production system by the end of 201

Minnesota  |  June, 29, 2014 at 11:12 AM

What is a factory farm? Yeah but that is not how we have always done things.... Plus it is not a law that one has to raise pork that way, just of they fell that is better for the welfare of the animal... We know animals do not have the same rights as humans...so animals rights is not an issue...it is about welfare, tell me how it is worse then another system...


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