Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter has signed off on the legislation that phases out veal crates within four years and gestation-sow crates within 10 years.

Colorado joins Florida, Arizona and Oregon in states having banned the use of gestation-sow crates.

The legislation was actually initiated by state legislators and the pork production industry ahead of efforts of a ballot initiative that animal rights groups were initiating. Specifically, Colorado''s pork producers had established and announced a plan in December to eliminate the use of gestation-sow crates in the state.

Of course, animal-rights'' groups praised the governor''s action. 

"Americans demand humane treatment of animals, including animals raised for food," says Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States. "With this measure, adversaries turned into allies to advance animal welfare concerns."

"The Colorado legislature and Gov. Ritter are to be commended for addressing great public concern calling for basic farm animal welfare in banning these egregiously abusive confinement systems," says Julie Janovsky, Farm Sanctuary director of campaigns. "The passage of this modest measure recognizes that animals are not mere production units and, at the very least, should be provided with enough room to move."