In an attempt to force changes onto animal agriculture as it relates to animal rearing practices on the farm, some animal rightist groups focused their attempts on New Jersey. The issues involving gestation sows, poultry, cattle and more spent time under review within the state's legal system.

Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld several regulations that the state agriculture department had established as being humane. Among the practices in question were the use of gestation-sow crates, de-beaking, castrating animals without anesthesia and some steps to increase egg production.

The court did, however, find one routine practice objectionable -- tail docking of cattle, where a lower portion of the tail is removed. The court did rule that the department needs to do more work to evaluate and define what routine husbandry practices are if they want to keep relying on it.

"Because we find in those regulations both unworkable standards and an unacceptable delegation of authority to an ill-defined category of presumed experts, we conclude that the (state ag) department failed, in part, to carry out its mandate. We therefore conclude that some, but not all, of the regulations are invalid," wrote Justice Helen Hoens for a unanimous court.

Source: The Star-Ledger