Yesterday, Connecticut defeated legislation that would have banned the use of gestation stalls. This is a commonly debated subject, and a question on the minds of farmers and consumers alike. The vast majority of the country's independent hog farmers use individual maternity pens to house pregnant sows because these pens allow for individualized care and eliminate aggression from other sows. When looking at peer-reviewed research, science says that this housing style is not only efficient for the farmer, it provides optimum animal safety and health. When it comes to raising pigs, there is no one right system --both group housing and individual stalls have pros and cons.
We've previously addressed questions about gestation stalls in our FoodSource section, and we'd love to hear from you - as a farmer, what works best on your farm, and why? What would you like to tell consumers to help them feel more at ease about the use of gestational stalls?
Read more about the use of gestational stalls in FoodSource:
Read the National Pork Producers Council news release:
CONNECTICUT LEGISLATURE DEFEATS GESTATION STALL BAN
America's pork producers today expressed gratitude for the Connecticut General Assembly's fortitude in standing with local family farmers and defeating legislation that would have banned the use of gestation stalls, a safe and humane form of housing pregnant sows.
The vast majority of the country's independent hog farmers use gestation stalls to house pregnant sows because they allow for individualized care and eliminate aggression from other sows. The housing method is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
As Connecticut family farmers stood up for their right to farm, the misguided legislation failed on multiple fronts, including in the legislature's Environment Committee, which removed stall ban language from a bill that would create a livestock care board. Farmers across the state rallied for their right to farm, attending hearings and submitting comments. Animal-rights groups hired out-of-state volunteers to lobby the assembly.
"Wealthy animal-rights groups appear to have a bumpy road ahead of them after so many failed legislative attempts to criminalize farmers for using humane farming practices," said Dr. Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa, who is president of NPPC. "The outlook for their future state-level crusades against local family farmers, thankfully, is grim."
The defeat in Connecticut is just one in a series of state-level failures for animal-rights groups, which have pushed gestation stall bans in states with little agriculture production, spending exorbitant amounts of their donors' contributions.
"The legislative power of animal-rights groups is waning as state after state has stood up in favor of local farmers," said Hill. "These groups are introducing the same legislation in the same states and being served defeat after defeat."