Florida’s Ag Gag Bill Reintroduced

Earlier this year a bill was introduced in Florida by Senator Jim Norman that would have made it a felony to take photos or video of a farm or agriculture operation.

The “Ag Gag” bill was openly supported by Big Ag and directed at both whistle-blowers who go undercover to document the cruelty that animals on farms suffer, as well as anyone who wants to just snap a shot while standing on the side of the road. Those documenting what they saw would have been left facing criminal charges, while abusers would be left unaccountable. Fortunately, the bill never came to a vote and similar measures failed in Minnesota, Iowa and New York.

Sen. Norman has reintroduced this legislation by sneaking similar language into a larger agricultural bill (SB 1184), which will make it a first-degree misdemeanor to take photos, audio recordings or video of a farm or farm operation without previous written consent.

All of this was done with urging from Wilton Simpson of Simpson Farms, which “produces 21 million eggs annually for Florida’s second-largest egg seller, Tampa Farm Service,” according to the Florida Independent. Simpson reportedly fears activists will gather dirt on factory farms for campaigns that could lead to a ballot initiative similar to California’s Prop 2. Simpson’s also currently running for senate.

Undercover videos from organizations such as Mercy for Animals and the HSUS have played an important role in exposing not only egregious abuse and unsanitary living conditions that farm animals are forced to endure, but have also drawn attention to standard industry practices that don’t seem to fit into the mainstream idea of humane treatment of animals and in some cases have resulted in criminal charges and new laws.

The materials provided by such investigations have opened the doors to otherwise closed facilities and prompt thought, debate and reform regarding the treatment and use of animals in agriculture would have been swept under the rug.

Please sign the petition asking Florida’s senators not to pass this bill in any form.

Related Stories:

Photograph a Farm in Florida Go to Jail

Victory! Ag Gag Bills Die in Minnesota and Florida

Victory! New York and Iowa Ag Gag Bills Die

Photo credit: Aquafornia via flickr

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Arnaud Henseval
Arnaud Henseval2 years ago


Mary ann S.
mary ann s.2 years ago

Stop the gag bills!!!!

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Susan Griffiths
Susan Griffiths2 years ago

The various legislations are of course being proposed to ensure that the public does not know what cruelty is being perpetrated on animals by business AND sanctioned by governments.

I firmly believe that stopping the passing of such legislation and repealing such legislations that are already in place should be the NUMBER ONE priority of our various animal lobby groups.

Without the heroes that go undercover (and the evidence they gather) we have no proof to convince the public of the atrocity that fur farming, factory farming, slaughterhouses, animal testing laboritories, puppy/kitten mills, etc etc really are.

Those of you who agree with me - we must start lobbying our animal lobby groups to take this on as number one priority.

Louise Peacock
Louise Peacock2 years ago

Unfortunately a lot of the politicians who manage to get voted into office are idiots.

Harsha R.
Harsha R.3 years ago

This bill signals the florish in animal cruelty. What a pathetic state to live in. SHAMEFUL.

SANJA v.3 years ago

Signed! I am ashamed for being "human"!

Heidi Awes
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

Any good business, with good business practices, is a transparent one on all levels. I signed the petition. I hope the voters of Florida force the ballot initiative just as they did in California. A similar bill went onto the General Eection ballot(the petition had enough signatures) . It was passed into law by the voters. This is how we got rid of smoking in restaurants.

Kathy P.
Kathy P.3 years ago

Norm must be getting big bucks for this bill. Sneaky and cannot be trusted. Too many out there just like him. All about money and not the animal. Factory Farms must be held accountable. Animals must be protected as they cannot speak for themselves.

mark g.
mark gillono3 years ago

Nathalie R.-as far as seeing both sides-this is all one needs to know about what they are trying to hide: