Breaking: New Jersey Just Banned Keeping Pigs and Calves in Cruel Crates

Breaking news! Governor Phil Murphy just joined the New Jersey legislature in passing a bill that prohibits keeping calves and pregnant pigs in intensive confinement—effectively banning cruel crates.

Intensive confinement is one of the cruelest practices in the meat industry. For mother pigs, it means being kept in cages during pregnancy that are barely larger than their bodies. For calves raised for veal, it means spending their short lives in tiny hutches. By mandating that these animals have enough space to stand up, lie down, and turn around freely, the New Jersey legislation would ban holding pregnant pigs in gestation crates and locking calves in veal crates within the state. Because of this, Mercy For Animals has been part of a powerful coalition of organizations and supporters pushing for this bill’s passage for years. 

The bill, however, does not go as far as California’s Prop 12. Prop 12 not only bans raising animals in extreme confinement within the state but prohibits the sale of meat and eggs from animals kept in such conditions in other states. This will effectively force producers all over the country to improve conditions for animals in their care or lose out on the California market. The meat industry was so threatened by Prop 12 that it challenged the law all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it was recently upheld.

The EATS Act

Frighteningly, all this progress—and more—is at stake thanks to dangerous new legislation called the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act. Its goal is to wipe out state laws that ban the sale of eggs or meat from animals kept in intensive confinement. This means the legislation could destroy years of hard-fought progress, leaving animals to languish in cruel cages and crates.

The legislation would prohibit states from passing the most basic protections for farmed animals and reverse laws that protect animals in puppy mills, the wildlife trade, and cosmetic testing.

We can still stop this legislation, but we need to act fast. Please take a moment to contact your members of Congress now and urge them to oppose the EATS Act.