Rhode Island Passes Farm-Animal Welfare Bill

The new law includes provisions that prohibit the use of sow gestation crates and the practice of cow tail docking.


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Yesterday, Rhode Island passed a landmark animal-welfare bill designed to improve conditions for farm animals in the state. The new policy, which passed both the state Senate and House with overwhelming support before being signed into law, prohibits the use of confining crates for sows and veal calves, and bans the practice of cow-tail docking—a process that involves partially amputating cows’ tails, typically without first administering painkillers. Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle applauded the move, saying, “Rhode Island is sending the message loud and clear that inhumane factory farming practices simply aren’t sustainable and should be banned.” Rhode Island is the ninth state to ban the use of sow gestation crates, and the seventh and third to ban veal crates and tail docking, respectively.