Bill of the Week: New Jersey S 1921

There has been a lot of attention in the news recently about gestation stalls used on some sow farms. The argument has been made that the stalls are inhumane, as they are small and may not allow a pregnant sow from moving freely. As a result, many states around the country have introduced legislation banning the use of these “gestation stalls”. The argument has also been made, by those who support the use of gestation stalls, that different housing models have different benefits and risks, and proper training and research are necessary before making any housing decision. For relevant AVMA policies, click here.

New Jersey S 1921 specifies that crating, confining, or tethering a gestating sow in a manner that prevents her from freely turning around, standing up, lying down, or fully extending her limbs shall constitute a disorderly persons offense. The bill does allow for this confinement under certain circumstances. For example, medical research, veterinary examination, transportation, an exhibition or educational program, and animal husbandry purposes that last no more than 6 hours are a few of the exceptions allowed where a gestating sow may be confined contrary to the provisions of the bill. The bill further clarifies that it is not an acceptable defense to a violation of this section that the sow was being kept in accordance with customary agricultural or animal husbandry practices. The bill was recently reported from Senate Committee and is on Second Reading before the New Jersey Senate.

What do you think about gestation stalls and the risks and benefits that come with different housing models?

5 thoughts on “Bill of the Week: New Jersey S 1921

  1. I too have never practiced in the swine industry and I had no knowledge of boar bashing, tooth cutting or gestation crates. I believe these practices are inhumane and horrific. How is it that the AVMA supports these practices? What is there that we can do to change this?

  2. Thanks Kathleen. That is why I mentioned that different housing models have different risks and benefits. Thanks for commenting!!

  3. The gestation/farrowing crates bothered me despite knowing why they are used until I read a study about sows giving birth at pasture. The injuries to sows (and pigs) were substantial. The use of crates (and clipping teeth) now makes perfect sense to me.

  4. I was never a swine practitioner but was lucky to learn under a very caring leader of the swine industry at U of Minnesota. The farrowing crates always bothered me even though I know why they are used. Until I read a study in the AVMA Journal (sorry I don’t have the reference immediately available) about sows giving birth at pasture. I decided then that a short time in a farrowing crate sounded more humane.

  5. as the acceptable ‘practices’ in the hog industry become more visible to the general public, more pressure will no doubt follow requiring change to the practices that are both cruel and inhumane. gestation. PAC, and boar bashing are extrememly horrific acts that would not be permitted to any other animal. this industry is fueled by productivity and profit, where the animals have ceased to have any consideration to comfort and humane care. i find the gestation and farrowing crates, and the act of tooth cutting and boar bashing both horrifying and disgusting. when i found the avma supports the industry and these practices, i was in disbelief. the sows suffer..plain and simple. extreme confinement is not beneficial to them, or any living breathing creature.