Tell Minnesota Lawmakers: Block Proposed "Ag-Gag" Law
  • Petitioned Minnesota Governor

This petition was delivered to:

Minnesota Governor
Minnesota State Senate
Minnesota State House

Tell Minnesota Lawmakers: Block Proposed "Ag-Gag" Law

    1. Sarah Parsons
    2. Petition by

      Sarah Parsons

      Silver Spring, MD

  1.  
  2.   
May 2011

Victory

After more than 700 Change.org members signed our petition to Minnesota Congress members, the state's proposed "ag-gag" law died. The proposed bill received a lot backlash from environmentalists, animal rights groups, Change.org members, and famed foodies like Mark Bittman, so lawmakers didn't even give the legislation a hearing. The controversial legislation would have made it illegal to produce, own, or distribute undercover footage of agricultural operations, essentially blocking whistleblowers from exposing factory farms' health, safety, and animal welfare violations.

New "ag-gag" laws are cropping up in states across the U.S., from Kansas to Montana to Florida. These laws make it illegal for anyone to produce undercover videos or photographs of agricultural operations like factory farms. In other words, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) don't want anyone to see and distribute evidence of the animal abuse and food safety hazards that occurs on their farms.

Minnesota is the latest state to introduce an "ag-gag" law, and this one goes even further than states before: The House and Senate versions of the bill (S.F. 1118 and H.F. 1369) would make it illegal for anyone to record images or sounds from a farm or to possess and/or distribute that undercover footage. The bills take aim not only at the photographers and videographers that obtain undercover footage, but at the organizations that distribute this information (like the Humane Society of the United States and Mercy for Animals have done in the past).

What's worse is that the legislation was proposed by the very people it stands to benefit, representing a huge conflict of interest. Representative Rod Hamilton, lead author of the bill, is the former president of the Minnesota Pork Producers, an industrial ag group. He's currently the spokesperson for Christensen Family Farms, America's third-largest pork producer.

Undercover footage is oftentimes the only way to expose the massive animal abuse and food safety violations that occur at factory farms. Threatening jail time to those who are brave enough to acquire and distribute this footage infringes on consumers' right to know how their food is produced.

Ag-gag laws like S.F. 1118 and H.F. 1369 won't benefit anyone except for industrial farmers. Protect consumers and the sustainable food system, and tell Minnesota's lawmakers to block these dangerous bills.

Photo credit: CALM Action via Flickr

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      Journal Express covers the problem with ag-gag laws

    2. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      Slow Food USA is fighting proposed ag-gag laws

    3. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      Mark Bittman tackles the subject of ag-gag laws

    4. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      From Greenwire: "State Legislatures Take Up Bills Barring Undercover Videos of CAFOs"

    5. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      Lawmakers behind Minnesota's "ag-gag" law have factory farm ties

    6. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      Grist's Tom Laskawy reflects on the damage ag-gag laws could do to our food system

    7. Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organiser

      Victory in Florida! House blocks state's proposed "ag-gag" law

    8. Reached 500 signatures
    9. Jess Leber
      Petition Organiser

      The New York Times publishes a great article covering the 'ag-gag' law trend in many states, including Minnesota:

    10. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jimmie Noble CAMILLA, GA
      • about 3 years ago

      Many people around the world stood up against Japan's killing of dolphins, porpoises, small whales and other sea creatures inhumanely. Japan would not stop their inhumane treatment of these sea creatures. The earthquakes and tidal waves still have not penetrated their bone hard heads. You people are no different. Whatever happens to you for standing up for this "Ag-Gag" law, let it be ten fold more on you than what Japan's retribution is. Your standing up for factory farms and their abuse toward animals will bring judgement on your own bone hard heads.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • vanne hanisch-godoy VICTORIA, CANADA
      • about 3 years ago

      Stop the Ag-Gag law now!!! Not in the best interest of the American people or the animals!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • danielle gendron FARMINGTON, MO
      • about 3 years ago

      we have the right tto know what is going on with the food that we depend on. It should be illegal for them to even pass this law!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lynn Ross DENVER, CO
      • about 3 years ago

      This law is ludicrous. By proposing it, you are admitting there is a problem while making it clear you wish to hide it rather than solve it.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • vanne hanisch-godoy VICTORIA, AK
      • about 3 years ago

      THIS IS ANIMAL ABUSE, AND IT HAS TO BE STOPPED NOW!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organising tools. Find out how to get started.