Withdraw bill that seeks to end factory farm transparency
This petition had 824 supporters
Having already been struck down earlier this year, Sen. Jim Norman's proposal to ban the undercover photography of factory "farms" (this term is used loosely) is back.
SB 1184, which Norman introduced unsuccessfully in the 2011 session but has reintroduced in recent days, revises a few agriculture statutes before closing with similar language from his previous attempt to implement the ban. His bill would make taking audio, video or photography of farm operations without written permission from the farm owner a first-degree misdemeanor.
Norman said Thursday his bill is needed "to protect farmers from those who apply for farm jobs under false pretense so that they can record video."
Unfortunately, with little to no government oversight, this type of video is the only view that the outside world has into the day-to-day innerworkings of these factory "farms." This is the same type of video that recently prompted McDonalds to dump one of its major egg suppliers following the shocking footage of unconscionable abuse and mistreatment that the video revealed:
Even more recent has been the raid of a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina amid allegations and video footage depicting intentional acts of needless violence and cruelty inflicted on defenseless livestock:
Undercover investigations have been critical in exposing the reality of factory farm cruelty, from the sadistic abuse of calves at Conklin Dairy in Ohio, to pigs going insane from extreme confinement in gestation crates at a Smithfield facility, to birds forced to spend their lives in battery cage squalor with living space smaller than an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.
This same exact secretive approach intends to hide the conditions inside these facilities, and would rather consumers not see the lack of standards that can result in meat tainted with bacteria such as e-coli (which occurs when meat becomes contaminated from animal dung), MRSA and salmonella.
Last year, SB 1246, proposed by Norman, would have made it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner, punishable by a mandatory minimum of 25 YEARS IN PRISON (yes, you read that correctly). This bill actually and unbelievably passed the senate (along party lines) 25-10 but died in messages to the House.
If you are doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide. So why the drastic measure, Senator Norman?
"Once again, Senator Norman has sided with the owners of factory farms in Florida to prevent the public from learning how animals are treated inside intensive confinement facilities," said ARFF (Animal Rights Foundation of Florida) campaigns coordinator Nick Atwood in a statement. "The bill also does a disservice to Florida consumers. Recent undercover investigations at farms have led not only to important improvements in the welfare of animals but also in food safety.
And to those of you who live in Florida, you have the power to send the loudest and clearest message of all by voting Senator Norman and his supporters OUT in 2012!
Please do your own due diligence in regards to informing yourself further about this very important issue. The popular media is not adequately reporting it. Please sign and, most importantly, SHARE this petition. Volume is key to winning this battle, as too few know about it. It is therefore our duty, for the sake of all that is ethical, humane and proper, to shine a light on this darkness! Thank you for all you do to make this world we live in a better place.
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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