Several months after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the use of gestation crates in the state, the Humane Society of the United States and many other animal rights groups have come together to urge the state legislature to override the veto.
HSUS said on Tuesday that it would be running television advertisements across New Jersey showing pigs in gestation crates as part of a $150,000 campaign aimed at increasing public interests and support for the issue.
The group argues that lawmakers in the New Jersey Senate and state Assembly – who voted 29-4 and 60-5 for the bill – represent the position of the public, major food retailers, numerous producers on the issue of gestation crates.
But Gov. Christie, in explaining his veto, said, "the proper balancing of the humane treatment of gestating pigs with the interests of farmers whose livelihood depends on their ability to properly manage their livestock best rests with the State’s farming experts – the State Board and the Department.
"I have every confidence that the State Board and the Department will continue to closely monitor and study modern and appropriate techniques for the humane raising, keeping, care, and treatment of all domestic livestock, and will propose amended regulations if, and when, modern science and evidence demonstrates a need for modified agricultural practices."
Opponents of the bill fear that it would drive the already small number of producers out of the state, and the National Pork Producers Council called it "a solution in search of a problem."
The HSUS campaign is running with support from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, Farm Forward and Center for Food Safety, among others.