Colorado Bans Confinement Systems

COLORADO, US - Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, applauds Colorado in joining Florida, Arizona and Oregon in outlawing gestation crates, and joining Arizona in outlawing veal crates.
calendar icon 15 May 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The movement to end the use of intensive confinement systems for farm animals is gaining momentum in the U.S. On Wednesday, May 14, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 201 (S.B. 201) into state law, making Colorado the second state to ban the use of veal crates for calves, and the fourth state to ban gestation crates for breeding pigs.

"The passage of this modest measure recognizes that animals are not mere production units and at the very least should be provided with enough room to move."
Farm Sanctuary Director of Campaigns Julie Janovsky.

“The Colorado legislature and Governor Ritter are to be commended for addressing great public concern calling for basic farm animal welfare in banning these egregiously abusive confinement systems,” stated Farm Sanctuary Director of Campaigns Julie Janovsky. “The passage of this modest measure recognizes that animals are not mere production units and at the very least should be provided with enough room to move. As Colorado joins the trend of nations who eliminated intensive confinement of animals, we hope that they will take the next step and apply this humane policy to end the use of battery cages which now house 3.6 million egg-laying hens in Colorado.”

The European Union will have effectively banned veal crates, gestation crates, and battery cages by 2012 and California recently certified an anti-confinement initiative, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act co-sponsored by Farm Sanctuary, for the November 2008 ballot. If passed, veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages would be phased out in the largest agricultural state in the U.S.

Gestation crates are among the most restrictive and cruel forms of intensive confinement widely used in factory farms. The 2-foot-wide crates are so restrictive that they prevent sows from turning around or taking more than a step for the duration of each of their four month pregnancies. Giving birth to two litters per year, these intelligent creatures live most of their lives in this constricted manner, and they suffer from extensive leg and joint disorders, as well as psychological neuroses.

Millions of male calves are born to dairy cows every year and approximately 698,000 are sold to the veal industry. Most veal calves are taken away from their mothers immediately after birth and tethered inside 2-foot-wide wooden crates where they cannot turn around, stretch their limbs or lie down comfortably. The calves are fed a liquid, fiber-free and iron-deficient diet that causes anemia and produces the pale flesh known as “white” veal. This diet causes chronic diarrhea, which these calves are forced to wallow in under this extreme confinement until they are slaughtered at about 18 weeks.

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