Pork producers watching New Jersey

Asbury ParkThe latest battleground over the use of gestation stalls in pork production is New Jersey.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has until early December to veto a bill that would outlaw gestation stalls in the state. And even though there are only about 10-thousand hogs in the entire state, Christie’s decision is being closely watched by pork producers and animal rights activists all across the U.S.

During a political stop in Iowa earlier this month, Christie indicated he would veto the bill.  Bill Tentinger, a pork producer from Le Mars, Iowa and a past president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, had a chance to visit with Christie.

“He was very adamant—very open—he said that he absolutely would veto it,” Tentinger says. “He realizes that New Jersey is not the place to be debating this, that there’s not that many hogs raised in New Jersey.”

Tentinger says Christie understands why the animal rights activists, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), have targeted his state.

“He knows that it’s HSUS groups that are trying to use his state as a stepping stone to get into larger states or even into some federal legislation,” Tentinger says, “and he said that that is wrong and he said he’s not going to change his attitude about that.”

Christie vetoed a similar bill last year. And even if he does the same this time around, Tentinger realizes the issue is not going away.

“We know that it will probably come back again, but the more often that we can get this stopped, the chances are that HSUS will just give up on it.”

In his veto message last year, Christie said any decision on gestation stalls should be made by the state’s department of agriculture.

Dennis Morrice, KLEM-Le Mars, Iowa contributed to this story.


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