Farm Sanctuary, HSUS and friends are claiming victory with the decision going against animal husbandry, pro animal humans.  Unless you want courts determining what the best management practices are that you can use on your farm, it’s time to pay attention.  This just in from Farm Sanctuary…

“In a monumental legal decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously declared that factory farming practices cannot be considered “humane” simply because they are “routine husbandry practices.”

The NJDA had set its spurious standards of humane farm animal care after the state legislature ordered it to develop humane care standards in 1996. In a disingenuous and duplicitous move, the NJDA responded nearly eight years later by qualifying all factory farming practices as “humane,” simply because they are routine in the industry.

In response, Farm Sanctuary launched a coalition and filed a lawsuit against the NJDA, stating that the NJDA’s sanctioning of factory farming practices as humane failed to follow the legislature’s directive. The lawsuit reached the state Supreme Court, which yesterday handed down its decision.

This decision does not stand without criticism. The Court failed to take the opportunity to strike down regulations that allow the confinement of breeding pigs in gestation crates, and calves in veal crates, as well as the transport of sick and downed cattle. Although the Court admitted that confinement practices were “controversial” and that downed animals “suffer greatly,” it refused to intervene in the agency’s decision to permit these systems, suggesting that these issues should be addressed to the legislature. In fact, there is growing momentum nationwide, and in other countries, to phase out these cruel systems, and we will push the agency vigorously to phase out these cruel and inhumane practices when the regulations are revised.

The Court’s decision will have far-reaching repercussions for farm animals across the entire country. Historically, perhaps the greatest legal obstacles preventing the application of cruelty statues to farm animals are state exemptions based on “routine husbandry practices.” Now that Farm Sanctuary has persuaded New Jersey’s highest court to reject such a consideration as sufficient grounds for declaring any practice to be humane, we have created a new and deep crack in the industry’s legal dam.”

The coalition members include Farm Sanctuary, The Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Animal Welfare Advocacy, Save Our Resources Today, Center for Food Safety, and the Organic Consumers Association. 

While the northeast is the breeding ground for movements such as rBST-free milk and these types of court decisions, don’t kid yourself into thinking the coalition members aren’t working in your home state.