Anti-Whistleblower Bills: Ag-gag measures aim to keep us in the dark about factory farming
[Photo by Animal Equality - http://www.britishporkindustry.co.uk/ -]
Many brave individuals risk their lives and jobs to expose the hard, cold reality that many animals go through before they are ruthlessly killed for their meat. These individuals now may actually be criminalized for their brave actions. Why should these meat industries hide what happens inside their walls? Please join me in signing this petition to stop these bills before they go any further. Thank you!
"Dangerous bills in seven states would criminalize whistleblowing on factory farms, chilling the ability of the American public to confront animal cruelty, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems. [...]
Whistleblowing employees have played a vital role in exposing animal abuse, unsafe working conditions, and environmental problems on industrial farms.
The agribusiness industry's response to these exposés has not been to work to prevent the abuses but to try to prevent the American people from finding out about the abuses in the first place. Their method is what's known as an anti-whistleblower bill.
The video below shows some of what's at stake with anti-whistleblower bills.
What are anti-whistleblower bills?
Anti-whistleblower bills effectively block anyone from exposing animal cruelty, food safety issues, poor working conditions, and more, by way of the following:
Banning taking a photo or video of a factory farm without permission,
Banning possession and distribution of such photos or videos,
Essentially making it a crime for an investigator to get work at a factory farm, or
Requiring mandatory reporting with impossibly short timelines so that no pattern of abuse can be documented.
What would anti-whistleblower bills keep hidden?
These anti-whistleblower bills raise the question, "What does animal agriculture have to hide?" By criminalizing whistleblowing, these bills would make important undercover investigations impossible—investigations like:
The HSUS exposé of calf abuse at a Vermont slaughter plant that led to the plant's closure and a felony criminal conviction
The HSUS investigation of a cow slaughter plant in California, which prompted the largest meat recall in U.S. history and criminal convictions, too
The HSUS investigation of Wyoming Premium Farms, which documented rampant animal abuse and brought charges of criminal animal cruelty for nine workers
"Businesses, including large factory farms that are operating responsibly, don’t need—nor should they want—this bill to pass."
—The Journal Gazette (Indiana)
Which states have anti-whistleblower bills pending?
In the past, the agricultural industry introduced similar anti-whistleblower bills in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, and Tennessee. Most of these bills failed, thanks to a strong outcry from the public and newspaper editorial boards, both of which favor bringing more transparency to an industry shrouded in secrecy and protecting consumers’ right to know how their food is produced.
In 2013, these states have introduced anti-whistleblower bills:
New Hampshire (HB 110)—retained by House committee
Wyoming (HB 0126)—passed House; pending in Senate
Indiana (SB 373/SB 391)—pending
Nebraska (LB 204)—pending
Arkansas (SB 13/SB 14)—pending
Pennsylvania (HB 683)—pending
Tennessee (SB 1248/HB 1191)—pending
New Mexico (SB 552)—pending
California (AB 343)—pending
Who opposes these dangerous anti-whistleblower bills?
The Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal welfare organization in the nation, and 59 groups including civil liberties, public health, food safety, environmental, food justice, animal welfare, legal, workers' rights, journalism, and First Amendment organizations strongly oppose anti-whistleblower bills. These newspapers have editorialized against anti-whistleblower bills:
The Times-Mail (Ind.)
Indianapolis Star (Ind.)
The Herald-Times (Ind.)
The Journal Gazette (Ind.)
Casper Star-Tribune (Wyo.)"
- From HSUS "Anti-Whistleblower Bills"
Here's another website for you:
"ag-gag noun \'ag-gag\ Any bill or law that punishes those who expose abusive conditions on factory farms; verb The act of silencing opposition to the abuse of farmed animals."
- From @FarmForward http://ag-gag.org/
This law is completely unjust and unconstitutional. We, the people, have the right to know what happens to our food. Once again, I ask you all, what do you have to hide?