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7 December 2014 - Governor Christie Cares about Agriculture

It happened in New Jersey the day after Thanksgiving and it attracted a great deal of attention across the country in the pork-producer community and in the animal rights community. Governor Christie, for the second time in two years, vetoed a bill that would have banned the use of gestation crates for sows in the state of New Jersey.

Now that wouldn’t affect many people or many pigs in New Jersey because there are 300 hog farms in the state and their annual production is about 9,000 hogs. Compare that to the state of Iowa where there are 6,000 pork industry families producing 20-million hogs a year. Maybe that is why, before the Governor took action on the bill in New Jersey, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad called Governor Christie and urged him to veto the bill.

Well, of course, it attracted a lot of attention, emotion and anger on one side, cheers on the other side. Let me quote what Governor Christie had to say because I like what he said. He did the right thing by finding out from pork producers what they think before he vetoed the bill. The Governor said “. . .the bill is a solution in search of a problem and a political movement masquerading as substantive policy and it should be left to the State Board of Agriculture.” I think he is absolutely right.

On the other side of the ledger, the President of the Humane Society of the United States, of course, had something to say. . . “This veto shows cynical political calculation from the Governor and an obvious capitulation to special interests, rather than leadership or humanity”.

The author of the bill, State Senator Ray Lesniak stated . . . ‘Governor Christie is putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the humane treatment of animals. The Governor chose to follow the dictates of special interests in Iowa.” Well, pork producers in Iowa, that’s you!

Again, I applaud Governor Christie for leaving the decision to people who make a living producing hogs and practice humane treatment of their animals every day. Their hands-on knowledge far surpasses that of people like Danny DeVito, Martha Stewart, Edie Falco or Cher, who more than likely have never set foot on a hog farm, but of course, blasted the Governor for his decision I say - Hats off to Governor Christie!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.