UPC Submits Comments to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Challenges "Humane" Standards

To view the NJDA standards:
https://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/rule168.pdf

To view UPC's comments:
http://www.upc-online.org/industry/CommentsEdit1.pdf

To view more comments:
http://www.njfarms.org/njhs_comments.htm (archive.org)

On June 27, UPC submitted a 50-page response to the NJDA's call for public comments, due by July 4, on the department's proposed "minimum standards" for the care and treatment of livestock and poultry. UPC addressed the following areas of concern:

  • Treatment of "day-old” chicks
  • Force-molting of hens
  • Housing of birds
  • Debeaking and detoeing
  • Catching birds for slaughter

While claiming to promote the "health and well-being" of New Jersey's chickens and other farmed animals, the "humane" standards exempt "routine" practices, such as starving hens for 14 days to manipulate the economics of egg production-the practice known as "forced molting." UPC cited this and many other practices that need to be brought within the regulatory framework of the proposed rules, such as forcing chickens to live in dark "tunnel houses" where they do nothing but sit in the dark, eat, and grow into "meat," and forcing hens to live in cages for a year under artificial lights mimicking the longest days of summer (16-17-hour days); then when the hens can no longer produce eggs, either force-molting them and using the survivors for another laying cycle, or suffocating them in dumpsters.

What Can I Do?

Though the official comment period is past, you may write to:

Dr. Nancy Halpern, Director
Division of Animal Health
PO Box 330
Trenton, NJ 08625-0330
Email: humane.standards@ag.state.nj.us