Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Several states considering 'ag gag' bills like Iowa's

Several states are considering legislation similar to the recently enacted "Agricultural Production Facility Fraud Bill," also known as the "ag-gag" bill, passed in Iowa this year to thwart animal-rights activists. The states include Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Indiana, Illinois and Utah. While proponents like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad say coming onto someone's property under false pretenses is "a serious violation of people's rights," opponents say the bills would increase animal abuse, human health risk, endanger workers' rights and hinder freedom of the press.

In Illinois, the "Animal Facility Bill" would make it a felony to "go undercover and make a recording at a farm facility without consent of the owner," reports Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star. Vandhana Bala, lawyer for Mercy for Animals, told Tarter the bills protect "Big Ag" because the industry "doesn't want the public to know how animals are being treated." She said there are already laws in states considering the bills that protect against trespassing and invasion of privacy, and that "ag-gag" bills are unnecessary.

Joe Maxwell, spokesperson for the Humane Society of the United States, said the Iowa law is a "backward way of addressing the issue." He told Ken Anderson of Brownfield Ag News that "you wind up with horrendous outcomes" when whistleblower activity is blocked, and undercover activities might not be necessary if the industry would compromise on animal-rights issues. The HSUS was one of 27 national groups that signed a statement opposing "ag-gag" bills across the country. They contend the bills would "perpetuate" animal abuse, threaten workers' rights, consumer health and safety, and the freedom of journalists.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Undercover investigations play a crucial role in exposing cruelty to farmed animals and environmental violations. They also help to ensure food safety and protect workers' rights. Undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals and other groups have led to landmark corporate animal welfare policy reforms, felony convictions of animal abusers, and other positive developments. Clearly factory farms have a lot to hide if they are willing to go to such despicable measures to hide their cruel and abusive practices from the public. Consumers have the right to know where their food comes from and how animals are treated before they reach their plates. This is a good, short video to watch about this topic: Or visit for information on adapting a more compassionate lifestyle.