Thursday, Nov. 11, 2002, Defenders Rural Updates
via CropChoice news: On Tuesday, November 5th,
Florida voters effectively curtailed the expansion of
some factory farms into their state by approving a landmark
measure outlawing the use of gestation crates for pregnant
sows. Gestation crates are two foot wide metal enclosures
where pregnant female pigs at factory farms are kept.
Factory farmed sows endure as many as ten pregnancies
in gestation crates, which are so small the sows cannot
turn around. This important victory will prevent industrial
hog factories that use gestation crates from ever moving
into the state. The measure will have little or no effect
on Florida's existing hog farmers, as no large-scale
industrial operations are currently located in the state.
Instead, passage will prevent the harm to rural communities
and to the environment that industrial hog operations
bring with them. The ban is a boon to the state's wildlife,
which is critically important because Florida is home
to 117 species that are considered threatened, endangered,
or of special concern, the third highest concentration
of such species in any state.