Cher hog-calls NJ gov; Branstad calls Cher out - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cher hog-calls NJ gov; Branstad calls Cher out

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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is brushing off entertainer Cher's criticism about hog crates.

Cher posted a message on Twitter Tuesday asking why Iowa farmers "torture pigs" in narrow gestation crates, and calling New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a "bully" for his stance on the issue.

Christie recently vetoed legislation outlawing gestation crates in New Jersey.

New Jersey has few hogs, but some argue that Christie is influenced by the early voting status of Iowa, a state that raises more than 20 million hogs annually. Christie is weighing a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Branstad has dismissed that characterization. On Wednesday he responded to Cher, saying, "They know a lot about pig production out there in Hollywood."

Branstad also says the use of gestation crates is a good decision.
"I have a personal experience with this because I grew up raising pigs back before we had farrowing crates and we used to have this high death loss because of these big sows would flop over and kill these little baby pigs," he said.  "I can't think of anything more humane than protecting baby pigs from being crushed to death by big sows."

A Christie spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Adam Amdor and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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