Maine Governor John Baldacci has signed legislation that prevents the use of gestation-sow stalls and veal stalls within the state. This new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.
The bill, LD 1021, was sponsored by state Senator John Nutting (D-Androscoggin County). He is the Senate chairman of Maine's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee. The bill is reported to have "passed the committee and both state legislative chambers unanimously." The Humane Society of the United States strongly lobbied for the legislation.
“It’s cruel and inhumane to confine animals in cages barely larger than their own bodies for months on end,” states Katie Lisnik, HSUS director in Maine. “We’re grateful to Senator Nutting for his humane leadership on this important legislation and hope its enactment sends a message to other states that they should follow suit.”
Pork production in Maine is extremely minor.
Maine's actions follow California's passage of Proposition 2 last November; Florida and Arizona passes similar ballot initiatives previously. Oregon implemented state legislation in a similar manner as Maine; and Colorado's pork industry initiated it's own directive to phase out gestation-sow crates. All of the involved in such bans are very minor pork production states.
HSUS points out that some national retailers like Safeway and Burger King are phasing in crate-free and cage-free requirements from its suppliers.