From WATTAgNet: A bill to outlaw the use of gestation crates in New Jersey could have national implications if Gov. Chris Christie chooses to sign it into law. Christie has until early December to decide whether to sign a bill that would ban hog farmers in the state from using gestation crates. The bill has the overwhelming support of Republican and Democrat state lawmakers in New Jersey, which only has about 300 hog operations that don’t regularly use crates.If the bill is signed into law, it would not greatly impact the U.S. pork industry, it could have a national impact on the political scene. Christie is a potential Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, and his decision is being watched closely by voters in Iowa, the largest pork producing state in the nation and the home of 2016’s first-in-the nation presidential caucuses.Christie has received pressure from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, whose relationship he has carefully cultivated and who could prove a crucial ally in the early-voting state if Christie decides to run. Branstad, a Republican who won easy re-election November 4, is ardently opposed to the restrictions and has called Christie to urge him to reject the bill when an earlier version landed on his desk last year.“I called him to tell him how bad I thought it would be and how the people that are involved in pork production, that really understand this, feel this would be very bad,” said Branstad, who added that the crates provide protection to baby pigs that could be crushed by older pigs.

Pork could enter politics of Iowa caucuses

(AP) — There are not that many pigs in his home state. And, that’s making for a tough decision for Chris Christie, who is New Jersey’s governor and a potential presidential candidate. Christie has until early December to decide whether to sign a bill that would ban hog farmers in the state from using gestation crates.
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