Governor Terry Branstad praised the recent move by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to veto legislation that bans gestation crates for pigs. “I have a personal experience with this because I grew up raising baby pigs back before we had farrowing crates, and we used to have a high death loss because these big sows would flop over and kill these little baby pigs,” Branstad says. “And so, then starting about in the 70’s, they started using gestation crates during the farrowing period.”
The U.S. Human Society is pushing for a ban on the crates, but Branstad says they save a lot of animals. “So, I can’t think of anything more humane than protecting baby pigs from being crushed to death by big sows. That’s whey I can’t understand why a group that calls itself the Humane Society would be against saving baby pigs,” according to Branstad.
Branstad says he expressed his concerns to Christie about the issue. He was asked if Christie’s action was linked to his fellow Republican’s possible run for president in 2016. “No, I think it had to do with the fact that this is an issue that most of the people of New Jersey have no clue. They don’t raise hardly any pigs in New Jersey they don’t have farrowing crates, but it is something we do have knowledge of in Iowa. And I give him credit for listening to and understanding that this is something that we are very concerned about,” Branstad says.
The governor was also asked during his weekly meeting with reporters about his deposition in the lawsuit against him by the former workers compensation commissioner. “I answered every question, it went for about nine hours. But I feel good about it,” Branstad says. Branstad’s top aides asked Christopher Godfrey, the state workers compensation commissioner, to resign in early 2011 so Branstad could choose his own person for the position.
Godfrey had been appointed to the job in 2009 by Democratic Governor Chet Culver. When Godfrey wouldn’t resign, his pay was cut dramatically. Godfrey then sued Branstad, arguing he was targeted for dismissal because he’s gay. Godfrey later left his state position for another job.
Audio: Governor’s news conference. 14:00