WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) praised the New York legislature for not taking up a bill that would have banned gestation-crate housing for pregnant sows.

NPPC, which has long advocated allowing hog farmers to choose housing systems they think work best on their farms, argued that the bill would have forced farmers to abandon a sow-housing system that enables individual care for pregnant sows and eliminates pregnancy aggression among sows.

“New York hog farmers are pleased the legislature realized there are far more critical issues to consider than attacking small family farms in rural New York,” said Ed Keller, president of the New York Pork Producers.

“Sure, the animal-rights groups had some early successes, but now that legislators are hearing both sides of the issue, they are choosing to allow the farmers to care for their animals the best way they can,” Keller added.

Several retailers and foodservice chains have announced policies requiring pork producers to transition to group-housing systems. NPPC noted that gestation crates are approved for use by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.