A bill that would have prohibited the use of gestation stalls failed to advance in the Massachusetts Legislature. The proposed legislation had been approved by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, but was held in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and was not brought up in the full House before the legislature ended its formal session.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) was pleased with the bill’s fate, and thanked the legislature for not furthering what it referred to as a misguided bill that would have restricted the rights of the state’s farmers.

Hog farmers use gestation stalls for pregnant sows because they allow for individualized care and eliminate aggression from other sows. The Massachusetts bill, supported by animal rights organizations, would have banned the practice, as well as limited other practices farmers use to care for their animals, NPPC stated.

“Massachusetts family farmers are relieved the legislature had the good sense not to waste time debating a law prohibiting farmers’ choices in taking care of their animals,” said Lisa Colby, an NPPC member and hog farmer from Newburyport, Massachusetts.

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“It is unfortunate these organizations insist on wasting lawmakers’ time – and their donors’ contributions – on so many failed attempts to deny farmers’ right to farm,” Colby added. “No two farms are alike, and we thank the legislature for realizing that farmers should have the freedom to operate in the best way for their farm and for their animals.”

A similar gestation stall ban bill failed to pass in the Connecticut Legislature in May.