Humane Society confident gestating pigs protection bill will carry the day

TRENTON – The sponsor of a bill to ban gestating-pig confinement hopes the goal can be achieved, and it may take a veto override vote to attain it.

Sen. Ray Lesniak, (D-20), Elizabeth, whose legislation S1921/A3250 – vetoed in June – has drawn national support, including that of celebrity Martha Stewart, said that as of right now it appears headed for a vote when the Senate holds its session on Monday.

“There are discussions going on for a compromise bill,’’ he said, but added, “I don’t know how we could compromise.  We gave the Department of Agriculture everything they asked for in the bill in terms of delaying implementation.”

Lesniak said after the veto that that was Gov. Chris Christie giving a nod to Iowa, home of the National Pork Board and the first presidential caucus.

The bill drew bipartisan backing when it passed the Legislature, which gives supporters such as the The Humane Society hope.

Matt Dominguez of the Society said Tuesday that in the last seven weeks they have had 15 animal protection groups with members on the ground in New Jersey, spent $150,000 on TV and other advertising, have had 50 advocates knocking on an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 doors, and have tallied 400 N.J. businesses that back it.

Dominguez said that the issue has widespread support nationally as a matter of opposition to cruelty. And he dismissed the governor’s first-term control over the GOP lawmakers, who must provide votes in order to override his veto.

“He no longer has any place in this anymore,’’ Dominguez said. “We simply are asking the people to reaffirm their votes.  There really is no opposition in the state.”

Humane Society confident gestating pigs protection bill will carry the day