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Cher blasts animal-abuse-enabling politicians after veto of bill banning pig gestation crates

Animal abuse

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(NaturalNews) Known for its agriculture, Iowa slaughters more pigs than any other state, making the pork industry an extremely valuable commodity. Treating animals humanely is absent from the list of concerns for most Iowa politicians; while cruel, overcrowding and confinement equals more money for the pork industry.

The use of "gestations crates," or pre-birthing crates, where mother pigs are confined for the entire length of their pregnancies in a two-foot-wide metal cage, is one of the pork industry's most controversial practices. These crates rob pigs the chance of experiencing affection from one another, a behavior natural to them in the wild.

Mother pigs raised in factory farms are unable to build a comfortable nest, instead forced to lie on wet concrete covered in vomit and feces. The small crate's metal bars leave little room for the sows to move, causing them to develop painful bedsores.

After giving birth, sows are moved to "farrowing crates," an enclosure similar in size to gestation crates, but with a tiny concrete area where piglets can nurse. Less than a month after birth, the piglets are taken away and the mother is impregnated again, continuing the endless cycle of artificial insemination until they're shipped for slaughter at three to four years old.

Singer Cher takes to social media, slamming politicians for allowing inhumane treatment of pigs

The issue recently gained media attention after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the use of gestation crates, a move praised by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. Branstad called Christie's veto a "good decision," despite widespread support for the gestation crate ban, including support from outspoken animal rights activist Cher.

"It was seen as a political test for Christie because it passed with wide support in New Jersey but was strongly opposed by agricultural interests in Iowa -- home to the first-in-the-nation caucuses and likely a key campaign ground for Christie should he run for president in 2016," reports The Des Moines Register.

Christie admits that he consulted with Gov. Branstad prior to the veto, who argued that crates were actually good for piglets and consumers. Branstad described his own experience raising pigs, explaining to Christie that crates are necessary to protect piglets from being crushed by the mother; however, this argument makes no sense considering that sows in gestation crates have not yet given birth to any piglets.

"It's stunning that the governor of Iowa is so unfamiliar with pig farming that he doesn't know the difference between gestation crates and farrowing crates," said Paul Shapiro, vice president of Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the United States.

"This bill applied only to gestation crates, meaning there are no piglets to be kept separate from their mothers, since they're all in utero."

Cher accuses Gov. Christie of "selling his soul" to be president

The American singer and actress, Cher, immediately took to Twitter to voice her opinion on Gov. Christie's veto, writing that perhaps he should be put into a gestation crate. Cher accused Gov. Christie of "selling his soul" to be president, adding, "thats never gonna [sic] happen."

In response, Gov. Branstad was dismissive, telling reporters "Yeah, I saw that. They know a lot about pig production in Hollywood."

Cher spouted back, "Branstad,We do know about Pigs! The TWO LEGGED KIND! SLAUGHTER YOUR PIGS,BUT MUST YOU TORTURE THEM 1ST?" [sic]

Gov. Christie calls gestation ban a "solution in search of a problem"

Gov. Christie claims that he vetoed the bill because it was a "solution in search of a problem" and a "political movement masquerading as substantive policy." Gov. Christie told reporters that he believed that the New Jersey Board of Agriculture should be responsible for making decisions regarding gestation crates.










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