General Business

Legislation Signed Impacting Pigs & Calves Enclosures

Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday signed legislation (A-1970/S-1298) requiring the State Board of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture to adopt rules and regulations concerning the confinement, care, and treatment of breeding pigs and calves raised for veal. The rules and regulations, which must be adopted within 180 days after yesterday’s signing, will establish penalties for violators. The bill prohibits confinement in an enclosure that impacts a breeding pig and calf’s ability to freely move in certain ways and properly groom itself and that limits visual contact with other calves.

“As the Garden State, agriculture is at the heart of New Jersey’s identity,” said the governor. “Ensuring that we are following humane farming practices and that farm animals are treated with care, rather than kept in enclosures so small they are immobilized, is a reflection of our values.”

“The humane treatment of domestic livestock has long been a major priority for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture and we endorse legislation that supports those rules while ensuring the farmers’ right to raise livestock,” New Jersey Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Joe Atchison III said.

The legislation also provides that rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board and the Department may include exceptions for:

  1. Medical research;
  2. Examination, testing, or veterinary treatment that is supervised by a licensed veterinarian, either in person or via a telemedicine appointment;
  3. Transportation;
  4. State or county fair exhibitions, 4-H programs, or similar temporary exhibitions;
  5. Humane slaughter in accordance with applicable laws and regulations; and
  6. Confinement of a breeding pig during the 14-day period prior to the expected date of the breeding pig giving birth or on any day when the breeding pig is nursing piglets.

Primary sponsors of A-1970/S-1298 include Senators Nick Scutari and Vin Gopal, and Assemblymembers Raj Mukherji, Daniel Benson, and Carol Murphy.

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