USA: ‘Ag-Gag’ Laws Now Starting to be Passed – A Dangerous Thing for Animals and for the American Public !

Further to our recent post regarding undercover animal abuse video:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/usa-it-is-turkeys-pecking-each-other-and-themselves-and-if-you-dont-believe-me-then-you-are-a-terrorist/

Here is the latest.

As Europeans, we feel that the US is now treading on very dangerous ground.

Big brother is watching, watching you; and if you do not agree, then you are a terrorist.  Obviously, terror is not struck into animals on factory farms that this legislation will prevent the public from witnessing.  Dangerous, very dangerous; when human rights are removed by those in the industry.  If things are so clean, what have they got to hide and why are they so worried about this ?

In many states of the USA, obtaining undercover footage such as this would now be illegal.  Animal abuse is in effect, now being legalised on farms and in intensive systems.  It is going to be illegal to expose animal abuses to the American public.  Fortunately, Europe still has its head screwed on and prosecutes such abuses rather than shut the door and allow them to continue.

https://serbiananimalsvoice.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/spain-warning-animal-equality-uk-and-spain-expose-more-than-graphic-pig-abuse-at-mucian-farm/

Wake up USA; this is only the start of legislation to prevent you from doing almost anything.

Link: http://www.animallawcoalition.com/animals-and-politics/article/1954

IA Gov Signs Ag-gag Bill

Posted Mar 3, 2012 by lauraallen

Update March 3, 2012: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has now signed the Ag-gag bill, H.F. 589 into law. This despite a strong effort by animal welfare and civil liberties organizations and the general public to stop this assualt on the First Amendment. For more on this bill and what it means for the animals, read Animal Law Coalition’s report below. For a look at the kinds of investigations this bill will stop, visit the sites of Mercy for Animals or  as other examples, the Hallmark Meat Packing Co. investigation by the Humane Society of the United States. The investigation of the Rose Acre egg producers in Iowa would never have happened had this law been in effect at that time. There are dozens more examples. 

Original report: The Iowa Ag-gag bill, H.F. 589, has now been approved by both the state House of Representatives and the Senate. The bill has been sent to Gov. Terry Branstad for his signature.

What the Ag-gag bill does 

The bill creates the crime of “agricultural production facility fraud”.

A person is guilty of this crime if, for example, he or she obtains a job at a factory farm or other “agricultural production facility” by making a false statement or representation with the intent to “commit an act not authorized by the owner”.

Anyone who obtains access to an agricultural production facility “by false pretenses” is also guilty of the crime.

Those who conspire to commit the crime or aid and abet the commission of the crime would be held responsible as well.

A first conviction would be a serious misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction would be an aggravated misdemeanor. 

The idea, of course, is to shut down undercover investigations of animal abuse. The bill would criminalize speech that is used to gain access to a factory farm and the like. The bill is so broad that it is likely to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, if not violate them. It also raises the constitutional concern of prior restraint – prohibiting speech in advance. If this bill becomes law, it would be virtually impossible to conduct an undercover investigation of animal abuse, often the only way animal cruelty in factory farms is exposed.  

similar bill in Utah passed the state House of Representatives this past week. Similar provisions in a bill in Florida  were killed in committee in 2012. Similar bills in New York, Minnesota, Iowa and Florida failed to pass in 2011. But the New York bill as well as the Minnesota bill were re-introduced and are now pending. There is also a bill in Indiana and another in Nebraska that would shut down undercover investigations of farm animal abuse in this way.

What Part of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” Don’t You Understand?!!
~GOD

Those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.~JFK [Paraphrased]

Trust our government to delay, bungle and kill every worthwhile social
program they undertake; yet with incredible speed and efficiency–shred
the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

~Brennan Browne

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/02/29/147651002/states-crack-down-on-animal-welfare-activists-and-their-undercover-videos

States Crack Down On Animal Welfare Activists And Their Undercover Videos

Some states are stiffening the punishment for activists who want to use undercover videos to expose conditions inside farms.

Just this week, the Iowa legislature passed a bill that would make it a crime to use false pretenses to gain access to a livestock operation to engage in activities not authorized by the owner.

If the governor signs the bill into law, Iowa will join Montana, North Dakota and Kansas in enacting what activists call “ag gag” laws, which criminalize undercover photography or video inside animal farms.

Several other states – including Illinois, Missouri, Utah, New York, Nebraska, Indiana and Minnesota – are considering similar legislation. That’s a sure sign that farmers around the country feel that the steady stream of undercover videos released in the last few years has hurt the industry’s image.
 

A few videos show farmworkers violently treating or neglecting hurt animals – behaviour that constitutes illegal abuse. Many others simply depict everyday practices. But industry groups say farmers need protection from possible incursions by activists whose principal motivation may be to hurt their business, not report abuse.

“We have a number of activists that want to gain access to farms … to take some films and make it look as dramatic as they possibly can, to affect the public,” Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, told the agriculture news site Brownfield. His group supports the Iowa bill. “It could be they’re there to damage the operation. We just need to keep those people out, and honest, responsible people in.”

But animal welfare groups like Mercy for Animals and Compassion Over Killing, which have paid activists to go undercover to film in a variety of plants, say that animal producers who want to outlaw filming inside their plants do so because they have something to hide.

“We do undercover investigations to open up the doors, to shine a spotlight on a hidden world,” Erica Meier, executive director of COK, tells The Salt. “Clearly, with these laws, the industry is trying to prevent people from seeing the realities. When they see them, they are shocked that animals are allowed to be treated this way.”

In a recent video, Meier’s group documented Iowa farm workers castrating baby male pigs without painkillers, and adult sows confined inside gestation and farrowing crates. “These conditions are standard,” says Meier. “But just because it’s standard doesn’t mean it’s humane.”

The industry accepts that some standard practices may have to change to assuage the public’s concerns. Just last month, Nancy Shute reported that McDonald’s said it would require its U.S. pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestational crates for pregnant sows. Smithfield, the nation’s largest hog producer, says it’s in the process of moving pregnant sows on company farms from individual gestation stalls into group housing arrangements for the animals’ welfare.

And as Dan Charles reported, the Humane Society has teamed up with the United Egg Producers to draft a law around more humane cages for chickens. Under the proposed guidelines, the chickens would get twice as much space, plus perches and “nest boxes” where they could lay their eggs.

While the anti-undercover video legislation has the support of many state farm bureaus and animal producer councils, some national groups say the legislation may be counter-productive.

“We are big fans of more transparency. And we understand that farmers are concerned [about the videos]. But we are concerned that passing legislation to ban cameras really is not the right approach,” says Charlie Arnot, president of the Center for Food Integrity, a group with many livestock industry members.

Arnot noted that one way farmers can make their operations more transparent is by opening up their barns, either with farm tours or live video feeds, like this one on the website of JS West, an egg producer in California.

COMMENTS

Steve Hansmann (PapaHans) wrote:

As a man who grew up on a small family dairy farm, and someone who still raises his own chickens, geese, beef etc., I can say without reservation, that almost all of our meat supply is raised in a nightmare horrorshow that can best be compared to Buchenwald or Belsen. Pigs and chickens in particular, no matter how well-fed or “clean” are raised, and butchered, in an environment that would make most of the deniers posting here vomit into their shoes. Industrial agriculture is evil. We pay a heavy price for cheap food, and the worst part of it is it’s becoming more expensive, and less healthy.

Samstag, 3. März 201

Eric Hirzel (Eric2122) wrote:

I couldn’t help but cringe when I watched this. Aside from the obvious, why be afraid if you have nothing to hide argument, this is our fault. And when I say ‘our’, I mean the people of America, or the world if you will. Yes, what the farms are doing is wrong, but how do we expect them to keep up with the consumption of our population? There simply isn’t enough land to support the production needed on ‘free range’ farms.

Course we could cut down more forests and pack ourselves into taller buildings with smaller rooms.. But if we can’t manage our own population, how do we expect to manage the populations of our livestock. We’ve grown too quickly. Is having two loving children not enough?

The treatment of these animals is horrible, but it only reminds me of where we ‘humans’ are headed. That’s capitalism for you, pack all the animals into smaller and smaller places, including us.

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