Ag Gag Bills in U.S. Threaten Animals, the Environment, Human Health and Rights

Feb. 5, 2013 Update:  ABC News reports in Turn Off That Camera! Animal Cruelty Exposes Being Blocked  WARNING:  Disturbing Footage

U.S. House Bill 126, introduced by pro horse slaughter advocate Rep. Sue Walllis, is advancing in Wyoming.  The Ag Gag bill would pave the way to punish activists who secretly videotape animal cruelty at farms.

With this bill, there is no doubt that Rep. Wallis ignores the cruel abuse of horses (and other animals) that continues unabated in agriculture operations.  This bill not only applies to footage obtained by covert means without consent, but even if the footage is obtained by an employee.

Already in 2013, States that have filed or introduced similar Ag Gag bills are Wyoming, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Arkansas and Indiana.  Read in detail more about this disturbing trend in Food Integrity Campaign’s: Ag Gag 2013: A Continued Attempt to Silent Whistleblowers.  Food Integrity Campaign collaborates with many coalition groups who oppose the legislation, which typically criminalize the individuals who expose wrongdoing rather than the perpetrators of it.

In another related article on this very alarming subject, Bruce Friedrich writes in The Huffington Post, “Incredibly, instead of working to prevent the abuse, the meat industry is now vigorously pushing laws to prevent people from finding out about it — to make criminals not out of the animal abusers or those who foist dangerous meat onto school-children, but out of undercover investigators. That’s right: The industry’s response to years of evidence of egregious, and often criminal, animal cruelty and of diseased and adulterated meat entering the market is to attempt to outlaw undercover investigations. In 2011, the meat industry backed laws in four states to make taking photos or videos on farms and slaughterhouses illegal. In 2012, the industry pushed similar laws in 10 states. This year, we expect even more.”  Read the whole article here in Anti-Whistleblower (AgGag) Laws Threaten Human Health, the Environment and Animals.

Canadians need to keep a very close eye on this movement towards totalitarianism in the agriculture industry.

6 comments

  1. jean robertson · ·

    Video surveillance as suggested by Marie would be a solution. It would have to be viewed by a source not related to anyone in the business to be effective. There are laws in effect now to protect animals but they are not enforced.
    The public should refuse to buy any animal product produced in states where the gag laws exist.

    I

  2. Um, Jim?
    Have you ever been in a chicken “barn”? Do you know what “Standard Agricultural Industry Practices” are? No? Animal cruelty is LEGAL in Canada, as long as it’s a farmed animal. Really.
    “These people want time to photo-shop”?? Are you serious?
    Wow. Keep your eyes closed, Jim, if it will help you believe in the fantasy that Canadians are not cruel to their animals. We have all kinds of pretty words written on paper. They mean nothing to the animals that are suffering.
    I think we already have “gag” laws. Otherwise, the OSPCA would publish names of those charged/convicted of animal abuse.

  3. Paul Coupland · ·

    Each of us can combat animal abuse by starting to work together on this now! Our concerted efforts will eventually improve the lot for farmed animals in the future!
    Send a written request (e-mail or letter) to your Elected Government Representative asking them to Lobby, Promote, Create, Support & Have Enacted – Legislation – making the following matters “the Law of Our Land” ASAP (as quickly as possible):
    1 Mandatory Jail Time together with Heavy Financial Penalties – levied against each person who directly or indirectly contribute to the unnecessary stress, discomfort, pain or suffering of any farmed creature under their care, control, direction, jurisdiction or supervision.
    2 Complete Legal Authorization; Indemnification of every form of video documenting any incident of animal abuse.
    3 Enactment of a Complete Comprehensive Enforceable LAW – outlining, grantin; entrenching the Seven Basic Inherent Indispensable Intrinsic Rights, Freedoms; Privileges for Each Farmed Creature – Recognizing; Acknowledging Each Farmed Creature’s Needs; Expectations as Sentient Beings – Granted to Them, Entrenched In Law; Vigorously Enforced in each Jurisdiction by each participating government. This complete animal husbandry management system would acknowledge; grant to each and every farm creature the least that is to be expected by each of them from a caring, thoughtful, civilized society.
    4 Vigorous Enforcement of each of these Laws & Regulations – against each animal abuse perpetrator – by each respective Government and their Agencies – to the full extent of the Law.

    Seven Basic Inherent Indispensable Intrinsic Rights, Freedoms & Privileges for Each Farmed Creature – Recognizing & Acknowledging Each Farmed Creature’s Needs & Expectations as Sentient Beings – Granted to Them, Entrenched In Law & Vigorously Enforced in each Jurisdiction by each participating government throughout our entire planet – define the ideal objective states to be realized by each farmed creature during their relatively short but good lifetime as beneficiaries of a caring & thoughtful civilized society in the 21st century.
    1 Freedom To Be Comfortable all the time which includes freedom from Cold, Excessive Heat, Harm, Hunger, Thirst, Discomfort, Distress, Danger, Accumulated Defecant, Forced-feeding & Continuous – Confinement and/or Tethers.
    2 Freedom To Have & Enjoy Their Own Space with the appropriate fresh clean bedding & clean fresh water provided (continually). This includes enough space for them to move around & do what they please when they want to.
    3 Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour when safe for others – by being provided with adequate exercise area, quiet rest area – with concomitant darkness, and the appropriate company of their own kind – as is normal for their species – including the freedom to raise & wean their own young – if they give birth.
    4 Freedom from Danger, Anxiety & Stress – provided by each caregiver – ensuring suitable conditions, systems, treatments & processes which avoid all farmed creatures having to suffer – in any way – at any time – during their lifetime.
    5 Freedom from Pain, Injury & Disease – by prevention &/or intervention of an appropriate level of professional Veterinary Assistance – providing diagnosis, treatment & corrective measures in a timely manner – to meet all of the needs of the respective farmed creature – as and when they are due.
    6 Freedom from Incompetent, Uncaring, Barbaric Idiots – by ensuring that all persons attempting to work handling any animal – has the correct attitude, training & ability to properly manage the creatures that will be under their direct control. In addition, I propose that those who would like to work with animals have an IQ at least equal to the combined IQ of the creatures that they are to work with!
    7 Freedom to enjoy comfortable accommodations & Climate Controlled Comfortable Transport whenever they need to be moved anywhere for anything.

    Respectfully,
    Paul Coupland
    This concept called Five Freedoms originated with the Report of the Technical Committee to Enquire into the Welfare of Animals kept under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems, the Brambell Report, December 1965 (HMSO London, ISBN 0 10 850286 4). This stated that farm animals should have freedom “to stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs,” a list that is still sometimes referred to as Brambell’s Five Freedoms. As a direct result of the Brambell Report, the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (FAWAC) was set up. This was disbanded at the same time that the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) was established by the British Government in July 1979, with some common membership. The concept was subsequently refined by FAWC so that it actually took the form of five freedoms. It has since been further updated and is now the most visited page on the Council’s Website.” http://www.fawc.org.uk/freedoms.htm

  4. “LAWS” what does that mean anymore? We have laws in Canada that say “Zero Tolerance” for phenylbutazone in horsemeat and that continues. Animal lovers won’t be stopped exposing the ugly because they are “animal lovers” and cruelty and abuse must not be tolerated for any reason.
    Wow, to put laws together to stop good things from happening in the world – that in itself shows us how much abuse must be going on because they want to hide something. And that in itself shows us how ugly and corrupt the government can get when they want to protect something that makes them money!

  5. This doesn’t sound like AG “GAG” to me

    “(b) Any person who knows that a livestock animal is
    5 being cruelly treated as defined in W.S. 6-3-203 shall
    6 report the information immediately to the owner or manager
    7 of the agricultural operation or any peace officer, agent
    8 or officer of the board within forty-eight (48) hours.”

    These people want time to photo shop their videos, etc and/or release them at a politically opurtune time. This bill is meant to make them report any animal abuse/crueltyimmediately. Why wouldn’t anyone who claims to care about animals want to do that?

    This isn’t “Gag” at all. It is speak up immediately.

    I believe if they don’t report immediately, they are part of the problem and should be charged with abuse/cruelty themselves. Isn’t it cruel to stand idly by (with camera) and watch animals being abused? I believe it is.

    1. Here is a solution “video surveillance” in all areas concerning animal welfare. That would give EVERYONE the eyes to protect the animals, and abuses could be seen immediately!

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