Colorado has introduced new legislation to phase-out the veal crate for calves and the gestation crate or sow stall for pregnant pigs.
The new law will mean veal crates will be phased-out within four years and gestation crates within ten years.
The victory for farm animals has come as a result of negotiations between the Humane Society of the United States and agricultural groups in Colorado. It is an encouraging sign for future engagement between animal welfare lobbyists and agricultural interests. The Senate Bill 201 gained support in both the House and the Senate showing that farm animal welfare is important to all sectors of the community.
Colorado is now the first state in the country to ban the use of gestation crates and veal crates by action of a state legislature. Florida, Arizona and Oregon have prohibited gestation crates. Arizona has prohibited veal crates. And a California measure to prohibit veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages recently qualified for November's ballot.
Joyce D'Silva, Ambassador for Compassion in World Farming, welcomed the ban, saying, "It really seems that the issue of farm animal welfare is gaining international momentum by the day. Systems like veal crates and gestation crates, where animals are kept in long-term confinement, unable even to turn round, are a blot on society's ethical record.
"We congratulate the HSUS lobbyists and the farmers and citizens of Colorado who have achieved this compassionate gain for the well-being of farm animals."
Note: Veal crates became illegal in the UK in 1990 and in the European Union (EU) in 2007. Gestation crates or sow stalls were banned in the UK in 1999 and will be phased out in the EU (for most of the sow's pregnancy) in 2013. Compassion in World Farming led the way in achieving these changes.