Press Release

Chelsea Handler, Ethan Hawke, Bill Maher, and Dozens of Celebrities Urge New Jersey Legislators to Ban Gestation and Veal Crates

Taissa Farmiga, Debbie Harry, and Stevie Van Zandt, and more join the Animal Legal Defense Fund to protect farmed animals


TRENTON, N.J. – Actors Paul Wesley, Christina RicciStevie Van Zandt and dozens of native and resident celebrities join the Animal Legal Defense Fund in an open letter urging the state’s legislators to end the intensive confinement of mother pigs and calves in New Jersey. S.3401/ A.5236, sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D-11) and Assemblyman Raj Mukherj (D-33), would ban gestation crates and veal crates, mandating mother pigs and calves have enough space to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs. 

The letter notes, “Gestation crates and veal crates are inherently cruel. Both include severely restricting the animal’s movement, to the point of virtual immobilization, which leads to highly stressful conditions that induces physical and psychological illness — and great suffering. 

In gestation crates, mother pigs are nearly immobilized, unable to even turn around or stretch their legs,” says actor, director, and New Jersey native Paul Wesley. “Intensively confining these sensitive, intelligent animals is simply cruel. New Jersey must outlaw the extreme confinement of mother pigs and calves used for veal.”    

“Ten states, Canada, and the European Union have already banned gestation crates while nine states have banned veal crates,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Coupled with increasing demand by consumers for increased compassion and transparency in how farmed animals are raised, now is the time for New Jersey to ban the crates.”   

The letter continues, “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how intensive confinement of mass numbers of animals in cramped spaces can create a breeding ground for zoonotic disease. Ensuring that the cruel confinement of mother pigs and baby calves is prohibited in New Jersey is a matter of animal cruelty prevention and a proactive step in safeguarding public safety. 

 The celebrities, each with a New Jersey connection, signing onto the letter include: Stevie Van Zandt, Maureen Van Zandt, Paul Wesley, Michael Ian Black, Taissa Farmiga, Daisy Fuentes, Chelsea Handler, Debbie Harry, Ethan Hawke, Grace HelbigAlison HaislipMyq KaplanBill Maher, Cristin Milioti, Karen O, and Christina Ricci 

Over 30 local and national organizations are working together to ban the intensive confinement of mother pigs and baby calves in New Jersey and to prevent future pandemics. 

Read the full letter here. 

New Jersey: End the Cruel Confinement of Mother Pigs and Calves Used for Veal

Please help end the intensive confinement of mother pigs and calves used for veal in New Jersey by urging your state senator to support S.3401/A.5236.


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