ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council): Exposing animal abuse is not a crime!
  • Petitioning ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)

This petition will be delivered to:

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
Executive Director
Ron Scheberle
Legislative Analyst, Energy, Environment and Agriculture and Civil Justice Task Forces
John Eick
Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Bill Meierling

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council): Exposing animal abuse is not a crime!

    1. Will Potter
    2. Petition by

      Will Potter

      Washington, DC

Undercover investigations have exposed patterns of horrific animal welfare abuses on factory farms and slaughterhouses, and led to criminal convictions and public health investigations. Rather than addressing these problems, a powerful organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) wants to criminalize anyone who brings animal abuse to light.

I have documented this extensively in my many years of journalism about the repression of animal and environmental advocates. You can read more about ALEC at ALEC wants to make it a crime to document patterns of animal abuse. It thinks the solution is to have zero checks and balances on this huge industry, and leave it up to factory farms and slaughterhouses to regulate themselves. 

In the past, whistleblowers (not farm owners or inspectors) have documented baby chicks being ground up alive, workers urinating near a live hanging area, and turkeys and pigs being sexually abused. Investigators caught a major school lunch meat supplier abusing cows who were too sick to even walk; this lead to the largest meat recall in US history. The Big Ag industry desperately want to put a stop to these investigations for one reason: money. 

This bring us to "ag-gag" bills which target whistleblowers, undercover investigators, and journalists. They have been introduced in 9 states this year, and last year they became law in 3 states. Some go so far as to criminalize anyone who "possesses" or "distributes" photographs and YouTube videos. As NPR reported, this isn't just about animal activists: these bills put journalists at risk.

Who is behind this? Big Ag corporations, working with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has a model bill that labels whistleblowers, investigators, and those who share the footage as "terrorists." You may be familiar with ALEC because this is the same force behind many efforts to weaken environmental protections and silence free speech online. If you care about safe food, environmental and animal protection, transparency, workers' rights, or citizen-powered action, we need your voice!

Corporations want to use ALEC and "ag-gag" bills to keep the public in the dark. But consumers have a right to make safe, healthy, and humane decisions about what they buy.

Please sign to tell ALEC to back off and stop criminalizing those who are trying to stop animal cruelty.

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)
Ron Scheberle, Executive Director
John Eick, Legislative Analyst, Energy, Environment and Agriculture and Civil Justice Task Forces
Bill Meierling, Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Stop bills that make it a crime to expose animal abuse on factory farms.

Consumers have a right to make safe, healthy, and humane decisions about what we buy.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. New Kickstarter to Investigate "Ag-gag"

      Will Potter
      Petition organiser

      My latest investigation will use drones to photograph factory farm pollution. As the agriculture industry attempts to outlaw whistleblowing through ag-gag, we have to get creative. I hope you'll consider supporting the project, so that we can expose what factory farms are trying to hide from consumers.

      Drone on the Farm: An Aerial Exposé

      Will Potter is raising funds for Drone on the Farm: An Aerial Exposé on Kickstarter! What are factory farms hiding with "ag-gag" laws? I'll combine drone photography with investigative reporting to find out.

    2. Filming This Slaughterhouse From the Street Was the First #AgGag Prosecutio

      Will Potter
      Petition organiser

      Exclusive video of the first ag-gag prosecution: filming animal abuse from a public street.

      Filming This Slaughterhouse From the Street Was the First #AgGag Prosecution -- Watch and See Why

      Her hands shook and filming from the street was difficult, but Amy Meyer did her best to record the scene she witnessed: A sick cow being moved by heavy equipment outside of a slaughterhouse. "The cow on that bulldozer is alive," Meyer can be heard saying.

    3. Reached 100,000 signatures
    4. First “Ag-Gag” Prosecution: Filming a Slaughterhouse from the Street

      Will Potter
      Petition organiser
      First "Ag-Gag" Prosecution: Filming a Slaughterhouse from the Street

      Amy Meyer wanted to see the slaughterhouse for herself. She had heard that anyone passing by could view the animals, so she drove to Dale Smith Meatpacking Company in Draper City, Utah, and from the side of the road she could see through the barbed-wire fence. Piles of horns littered the property.

    5. Reached 40,000 signatures
    6. John Robbins to Discuss "Ag Gag" With Will Potter

      Will Potter
      Petition organiser

      John Robbins, author of "Diet for a New America," will be discussing "ag-gag" bills as part of the Food Revolution Summit. Other speakers include Cory Booker, Vandana Shiva, and Russell Simmons.

      Click here and register for free -->

      The Food Revolution Summit with John and Ocean Robbins

      The truth is... You are being deceived about your food. If you're concerned or even outraged, you have every reason to be. If you care about your health, and you want the truth about your food... Then you're invited to join The Food Revolution!

    7. Reached 20,000 signatures
    8. Democracy Now! Features a Full Show About Ag-Gag Bills

      Will Potter
      Petition organiser
      Debate: After Activists Covertly Expose Animal Cruelty, Should They Be Targeted With "Ag-Gag" Laws?

      So-called "ag-gag" bills that criminalize undercover filming on farms and at slaughterhouses to document criminal animal abuse are sweeping the country. Five states, including Missouri, Utah and Iowa, already have such laws in place. North Carolina has just become the latest state to consider such a law, joining a list that includes Arkansas, California, Indiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Vermont.

    9. Reached 5,000 signatures
    10. Esquire Magazine on Ag Gag Bills

      Will Potter
      Petition organiser

      Charles Pierce at Esquire discusses my recent article about Indiana's ag-gag bill, which is so broad that it also targets those who expose fracking:

      How Exxon Is Trying To Get Out Of Its Oil Spill Cleanup

      In the 1970s, we really pretended to care about environmental regulations. Even Richard Nixon, history's yard waste, knew he really had to pretend about environmental regulations, and we wound up with the EPA and the Clean Water Act.

    11. Reached 2,500 signatures



    May 13, 2013

    We all know who's behind the #AgGag trend...Join @will_potter and tell them to back off: #p2

    The CCR


    Apr 06, 2013

    ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council): Exposing animal abuse is not a crime! via @change

    Bianca Jagger


    Apr 01, 2013

    MT @will_potter Exposing abuse shouldnt b a crime. Sign petition 2 stop #AgGag bills that criminalize whistleblowers

    Food Integ. Campaign


    Apr 26, 2013

    STOP #AgGag !! Please sign @will_potter 's petition to stop criminalizing those trying to stop animal cruelty. I did.

    Tony Kanal

    Reasons for signing

    • Johnny Merrill BRENTWOOD, CA
      • about 9 hours ago

      Animals have feeling to!!!!

    • Amy Lillard URBANDALE, IA
      • about 12 hours ago

      Attempts to cover illegal activity (including animal cruelty) by corporations is a crime. Whistleblowing should not be.

      • 1 day ago

      The way humans treat our fellow inhabitants of this planet is disgusting and WRONG.

    • Journey Wade-Hak OJAI, CA
      • 2 days ago

      Because seeing something and saying something should never be a crime in cases of blatant and/or institutionalized abuse.

    • Ken Friedenberg NAPLES, FL
      • 2 days ago

      How we treat the least amongst us defines us andanimals esp. pigs who are touted to be smarter than dogs have a soul perceptible to us. Plus I believe cross contamination amongst animals fed other animal parts due to greed will be mother natrure's form of retaliation or karma. She will teach us through such greed and abuse will be born certain viruses, bacteria and micro organisms that will attack and threaten our immune system.


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