In a move that was reportedly supported by the state’s livestock industry and animal welfare groups, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law SB 201 on Wednesday, May 14.
The legislation phases out stalls for gestating sows over 10 years and stalls for veal calves over four years.
The measure won overwhelming support with the House approving it 59-4 and the Senate approving it unanimously.
“This legislation is proof that humane groups and agriculture interests can work together to find common ground and move toward better treatment of farm animals,” observes Bernard Rollin, distinguished professor of philosophy at Colorado State University.
The Humane Society of the United States has withdrawn a ballot initiative petition on the same subject, which would have also phased out the confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages.
For its part, the Colorado Pork Producers Council (CPPC) announced last December its members would voluntarily begin to phase-in group housing for pregnant sows on their farms over a 10-year period.
There are 750 swine operations in Colorado and more than 90% of the sows in the state will be affected by these animal management changes, according to Ivan Steinke, executive director of the CPPC.