The 2015 legislation session is now well underway in many states, and with this brings the next desperate round of Ag-Gag bill attempts. In fact, Washington state just introduced such a bill – it aims to criminalize undercover recordings on factory farms and slaughterhouses, similar in nature to laws previously passed in Utah, Idaho, and North Dakota.
It’s no wonder that Big Ag is up in arms: in the past several years, undercover investigations by animal protection organizations have led to slaughterhouse shutdowns, the discovery of food safety violations, criminal animal cruelty charges, and more.
Many of these ag-gag bills are introduced under the guise of “protecting the farmer,” when it reality, they’re geared toward shielding consumers from seeing the extreme cruelty uncovered by brave investigators – cruelties that would go unseen without these whistleblowing exposes. Rather than stop the abuses being uncovered, animal agribusiness is aiming to stop Americans from finding out about it in the first place.
While four activists recently had their Ag-Gag charges dropped in Utah, this isn’t the first time that state has lashed out. And although Colorado has not yet passed an Ag-Gag bill, a similar tactic was used against Compassion Over Killing’s brave investigator, Taylor Radig — after she turned over evidence of shocking cruelty to newborn dairy calves, the authorities retaliated and charged her with a crime. The bogus charge was later dropped, but the message is clear: the meat industry will stop at nothing to try to silence us.
That’s why our brave investigators and farmed animals urgently need your support now more than ever. Our legal right to expose the cruel and ruthless underbelly of animal agriculture is at risk. By standing together, we can — and we will — continue pulling back the curtains and shining a bright light on the hidden horrors of animal agribusiness.
Photo credit: Mother Jones