Farm Sanctuary has announced its opposition to New Jersey Assembly Bill 2649 (AB 2649). This bill would prevent local law enforcement from investigating farm animal cruelty cases without the interference of agribusiness, thus allowing the industry to police itself. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture is currently involved in a legal case challenging its "humane" standards, which codify and label cruel factory farming practices as "humane."

Under AB 2649, the following changes to existing law would be made:

  • Local SPCAs and law enforcement agencies must defer to NJDA before animal cruelty charges can be filed in cases involving livestock. Criminal charges may only be initiated if NJDA deems a violation to have occurred. Farm animals, with the exception of those kept as companion animals, are universally exempted from protection from abuse of any kind under the state's animal cruelty law.
  • All livestock incidents must be reported to livestock inspectors rather than to law enforcement officers.

On Dec. 13, 2006, the New Jersey Superior Court heard oral arguments in the case of Farm Sanctuary, et al. vs. NJDA and all parties currently await a decision. Farm Sanctuary alleges that NJDA has failed to establish humane standards for farm animals as required by the New Jersey legislature in 1996.

Farm Sanctuary is opposed to the following farming practices allowed in New Jersey:

  • Confining pregnant pigs for months at a time in gestation crates;
  • Tethering and restrictively confining calves raised for veal; and
  • Mutilations without anesthesia, including castration, debeaking, detoeing and tail docking.

You can find more information at http://www.farmsanctuary.org or by calling 607- 583-2225.

Source: Farm Sanctuary