New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a ban on gestational pig crates. The ban marks a victory for animal rights advocates.

Though gestational pig crates are not widely used in the state, the battle to ban them went on for more than a decade. New Jersey produced 7,500 pigs in 2022, much less than Iowa’s 23 million that same year.

Murphy’s decision was still heralded by those who have been fighting for the humane treatment of animals.

“The cruel confinement of pigs and calves raised for veal will not be tolerated. The exposure of the conditions farmed animals endure is the only way to change industry standards,” said Animal Legal Defense Fund legislative affairs manager Brian Hackett in a statement. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund is happy to see New Jersey join 11 other states that recognize the cruel confinement of these sensitive and highly intelligent animals is wrong and needs to end.”

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When former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bans in 2013 and 2014, voters were anticipating his run for president. Many accused him of trying to appeal to voters in Iowa, the first presidential caucus state, and condemned him for politicizing an animal rights issue.

Now that Murphy has signed the bill into law, the Agriculture Department and State Board of Agriculture must adopt the rules on confinement, care and treatment of breeding pigs and calves raised for veal within the next six months.

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