Maine Governor Signs Law Banning Cruel Factory Farm Practices

pigMaine Governor John Baldacci has signed into law 7 MRSA §4020 and 17 MRSA §1039 which make it illegal to confine pregnant sows in gestation crates and tie veal calves into small enclosures for a majority of the day.

The new law prohibits any person from tethering or confining a pregnant sow or veal calf "for all or the majority of a day in a manner that prevents the animal from….[l]ying down, standing up and fully extending the animal’s limbs; and …[t]urning around freely." "Turning around freely" means being able to turn "in a complete circle without any impediment, including a tether, and without touching the side of an enclosure".

There are exceptions for animals that are the subject of scientific or agricultural research; undergoing veterinary treatment and care; being transported; at a rodeo exhibition or state or county fair or 4-H or similar exhibition; or being slaughtered according to law. There is also an exception for sows during the 7-day period prior to the sow’s expected date of giving birth.

There can be criminal and civil penalties for violations.

Maine now joins Colorado and Arizona in banning these cruel practices.  California with its successful Prop 2 will ban cruel confinement for egg laying hens as well. Oregon and Florida ban cruel confinement of pregnant sows.

For more on the cruelty of these practices, go here.  

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2011. 

3 thoughts on “Maine Governor Signs Law Banning Cruel Factory Farm Practices”

  1. I have trouble sleeping at night, worrying about the young cows and the sows penned up without being able to move. I watched the Oprah program on the subject, I read PETA news, and for years, I have not eaten veal because of the lack of freedom for the animals. I buy cruelty free eggs also.

    I applaud any effort to update these outmoded laws!

  2. You should know the only real way to be cruelty free is by being Vegan. Dairy cows are continuously impregnated and have their calves taken away. Consuming dairy supports the veal industry. Also once dairy calves can no longer produce enough milk they become hamburger. Cage free/free range chickens live in conditions much similar to “normal” layer hens (they don’t have much more room). Also those hens come from the same place (meaning buying those eggs still supports the killing of millions of male chicks that are considered useless). They are still debeaked as well. When they can no longer lay eggs they are also considered “spent” and slaughtered. Then there are also downed animals.

    You can learn more at

    Hope this helps on your journey.

Comments are closed.