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Oregon latest target of effort to ban sow stalls

by 5m Editor
20 March 2007, at 11:31am

PORTLAND - Oregon farmers spoke out in a legislative hearing last week in opposition to a bill banning gestation stalls and farrowing crates on Oregon hog farms.

The farmers said the bill is unnecessary and ultimately could harm more hogs than it helps.

The bill, which also would ban the restrictive-movement stalls in veal production, is the latest attempt by animal rights groups to eliminate the stalls in U.S. agriculture. The bans have been adopted under voter-approved initiatives in Florida and Arizona and the California Legislature is considering a bill nearly identical to Oregon Senate Bill 694.

The bill would have limited impact in Oregon, which has virtually no veal production and has only limited hog production. Total sow count in Oregon, according to Oregon hog farmers, is about 1,000 - or roughly twice the size of a single family-sized operations in the hog-abundant Midwest.

Bryan Scott, a lobbyist for the Antioch, Ill.-based American Veal Association, said animal rights groups are targeting states with limited hog and veal production as a way to get their foot in the door of U.S. farm policy.

"They couldn't get these laws passed in large veal and hog states," he said.

Scott traveled to Portland for the March 16 hearing at Lewis and Clark College and provided the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee findings of a 2003 study by Rutgers University showing eliminating the stalls could harm hogs and calves.

Source: Capital Press

5m Editor