Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Some Good News In NJ Farm Animals Case

Thanks to Farmed Animal Net for this information from August 8.

In a unanimous decision, New Jersey’s Supreme Court rejected a broad challenge by animal protection advocates to the state’s rules on the care of farmed animals) but struck down regulations that regard husbandry practices as being “humane” merely because they are routine. The court upheld regulations permitting pig and calf confinement, the transport of ill and injured cattle, and force molting of birds. “Although the court noted that these practices are controversial and that downed animals ‘suffer greatly,’ it found the record on appeal insufficient to warrant striking the regulations at this time,” explains an article from the Environmental News Service. While the decision did not ban any procedure or practice, “the Court further held that tail docking could not be considered humane, and [that] mutilations without anesthesia including castration, de-beaking and de-toeing could not be considered humane without some specific requirements to prevent pain and suffering,” the article notes. The N.J. Department of Agriculture (NJDA) was ordered to readdress a number of its mandated standards for farmed animal treatment.

A N.J. Farm Bureau spokesperson expressed disappointment at the decision while animal protection advocates deemed it a victory. Many states exempt routine practices from their cruelty code, and the precedent-setting ruling will be used in the nationwide campaign against controversial practices. The plaintiffs plan to pressure the NJDA to abandon them when the regulations are revised.

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