Colorado has joined several states that will, within the next decade, prohibit the housing of pregnant sows in stalls or veal calves in crates.
A new Colorado law will phase out veal crates as of 2012 and gestation stalls as of 2018. Last year, the Oregon legislature approved a bill that will ban gestation stalls starting in 2012.
Arizona voters passed a ballot initiative in 2006 to prohibit gestation stalls and veal crates by the end of 2012. Florida voters passed a ballot initiative in 2002 that will ban gestation stalls starting later this year.
Also later this year, California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would ban battery cages for egg-laying hens as well as gestation stalls and veal crates—to take effect in 2015.
The Humane Society of the United States, a sponsor of the California initiative, withdrew a petition for a similar ballot measure in Colorado after negotiations with agricultural groups led to legislation that will phase out gestation stalls and veal crates.
Colorado's new law will require producers to keep veal calves and pregnant sows in housing that allows the animals to stand up, lie down, and turn around without touching the sides of the enclosure. The bill contains exemptions for veterinary procedures, exhibitions, research, transportation, and slaughter.
The law also charges the state agriculture commissioner to establish a process for considering questions that arise in the future about animal husbandry and humane production practices.