Following in the footsteps of Rhode Island, Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Colorado, and California, Kentucky has recently become the eighth U.S. state to ban cruel veal crates! What great news!
Veal crates are notoriously cruel, much like other confinement systems in the factory farming industry, such as gestation crates and battery cages.
Farmed calves typically are only allowed about 16 weeks of life prior to slaughter, yet within their short lifespan, they endure a life of strict confinement, tethered by their necks to their small wooden crates, leaving them “virtually immobilized,” as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports.
While these crates are considered “industry standard,” other abuses have been documented via undercover investigations. For instance, a 2009 slaughter plant investigation conducted by the HSUS revealed calves being “kicked, slapped and repeatedly shocked with electric prods and subjected to other mistreatment.”
Thankfully, these abusers were caught and the plant was shut down a few months after the investigation’s release.
While it may be difficult to weed out and prosecute this type of abuse, it is possible for states to outlaw cruel “industry standard” practices to minimize animal suffering. In fact, it’s possible for entire countries to do this, like Canada recently has with the prohibition of gestation crates for breeding pigs.
Kentucky’s new veal crate ban, issued by the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission, will go into effect in 2018.
Although the ban will take some time to come into full force, it is certainly a step in the right direction and will provide a good example for other states to follow. (Can you believe Kentucky is only the eighth state in the U.S. to do this?!)
Unfortunately, the new rules passed by the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission did not include bans for tail docking, the painful practice of cutting off dairy cows’ tails often without anesthesia, and gestation crates.
“The commission made important progress by banning cruel veal crates, but it has a lot more work to do to fulfill its mandate of creating meaningful standards of care,” said Pam Rogers, Kentucky state director for the HSUS in a press release. “Kentucky should move quickly to ban the pork industry’s confinement of mother pigs in metal cages so small they can’t turn around and the cutting off of dairy cows’ tails.”
With pressure from nonprofit organizations and citizens, hopefully Kentucky will institute these other bans soon.
Image source: Jo-Anne MacArthur / We Animals